Gratitude instead of Attitude

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The images and sounds from Kabul that I witnessed on Sunday’s broadcasts were so troubling to me that I woke up at 2:30 a.m. Monday morning and did not go back to sleep. In the span of a weekend, Afghanistan has been turned into a hell on Earth, So it’s a human rights catastrophe, a political catastrophe, and a financial catastrophe, as the foolish United States has destroyed over a trillion dollars in this agonizing absurdity…………to say nothing of the 167,000 people who died during the course of this utter farce.

As much as I gripe about the many imperfections of the United States, I am still grateful that I just happened to be born here. Think for a moment: right now, there is a baby girl being born in Kabul. She is simply a new human being on the planet. She does not know she is basically being born, for her, in the worst place on Earth. So much of our lives – – 99%, perhaps? – – is determined by the randomness of where we are born and who our parents are.

So, as I sit here this evening, I offer these thanks to the heavens above for my own good fortune:

  • I am grateful I have the freedom to think, speak, and write what I believe without fear;
  • I am grateful my wife and daughter have had the opportunity to get superb educations and endeavor in whatever professional or leisure activities they desire;
  • I am grateful to know that, based on my own personal experience, I can trust my local government officials and police officers to be decent and law-abiding;
  • I am grateful to know there is a diverse, easily-accessible free press, and I can seek out and learn from whatever sources appeal to me;
  • I am grateful to have freedom of religion, and to have been brought up in a religion anchored in kindness, gentleness, and love, instead of barbaric violence, hatred, and revenge;
  • I am grateful that my sister, who is gay, is free to love the woman that she loves without fear or retribution;
  • I am grateful for music, which we can enjoy as listeners or creators (you may not know this, but among the other draconian laws, the Taliban forbids any music at all that uses an instrument);
  • And I’m especially grateful for the gargantuan bodies of water flanking either side of the United States of America.

The frustration and anger I occasionally direct toward this country or its people is based on an adoration of our core values and a desire for all of us to do better. But I am glad to be here, and I pity those who do not enjoy these same privileges that just happened to be bestowed upon us by accident of birth.