Okay, so we live in a time where the reported unemployment figure is above 9%, (while the real figure is much higher,) the government spends a whole lot more than it makes, (while legislators cannot agree on a solution,) and it costs more to feed your car than yourself. But...without even thinking about it, we really have a lot to be thankful for.

Family and Friends First

Over 20 years ago my mother passed away from breast cancer. To this day when exciting things happen in my life, I can't wait to tell her, only to realize I no longer have her area code. The same thing happens when I need her sage wisdom. I admit, I took her support for granted.

I've been blessed with a multitude of friends, near and far, who are so very supportive. Lesson learned from my mother's death: I'm so grateful to have my friends, I hope I've never taken a single one for granted. They would come in a heartbeat if needed, as I would do the same for them.

These people are put in our lives for a reason and the fact they are here is a reason to give thanks. They are the companions who will walk with you during life's storms.

Food And Other Essentials

Despite our high unemployment figures, we in America are a nation that consumes. A lot. Let's take oil. About 82 million barrels of oil are consumed each day world-wide; however, the US, with approximately 5% of the world's population consumes nearly 25% of it. China is in second place for oil consumption, and with over four times our population, only consumes less than half of what we consume.

What about the vehicles that use some of that oil? Per capita, the US is second only to Monaco with 828 and 863 motor vehicles per 1,000 people, respectively. But let's think about it, Monaco has a small population, most of whom are royalty, so we would expect them to have more cars per capita. Pakistan, a developing nation, yet one with nuclear power, has only 11 motor vehicles per 1,000 people.

As if you didn't know this already, appropriately noted on Thanksgiving, the US has the highest caloric daily intake per capita than any other country at 3,754 calories per person. Per capita caloric intake in Bolivia is only 2,219. There's no famine here.

We have a lot of stuff. And most of this stuff is readily accessible, sometimes just a click away. One more reason to be grateful.

No War

Several years ago I read Greg Mortenson's book, Three Cups of Tea. It is an amazing account of Greg Mortenson's quest to bring peace to the outer edges of Pakistan through education. I was deeply moved by a story within the book about a girl living in a cave, who had to go out into the fields outside the cave between bombings, just to glean enough to survive. We simply get in the car and drive to the closest Tom Thumb and don't have to worry about being bombed on the way. And seldom is our favorite grocery store out of something we crave at the time.

What are some of the things you're grateful for on this day of thanks?