When mother served us something for dinner we didn’t like and scarcely touched, he always said there are people in country X who don’t have any food at all. I wasn’t sure how cleaning up my plate would help those people, so after years of hearing her pronouncement I said, “Let’s just mail it to them.” That comment didn’t go well.
Other than those days when mother got into the locoweed and served something strange, she was a great cook 24/7/365. Even though she managed meals on a tight budget, we always had plenty to eat. The older I got, the more I realized that more people than not didn’t have plenty to eat. It made me think we should be thankful for what we had.
If one feels thankful, that feeling changes his/her life. Gone are the feelings of entitlement of rich vs. poor, our country vs. a third-world country, or working people vs. those who don’t work. I don’t think many of us can imagine what it’s like to walk in another person’s shoes, much less find the empathy needed to truly understand those who don’t have what we have–so to speak.
Feeling thankful for what we have and how we live and how our friends and family are there for us doesn’t mandate our giving all of our money to worthy causes. I’ve written posts in the past about the fact many worthy causes suggest only $25 will help, but fail to consider that they are one of 50 charities that have approached us with the same rationale. I like Kiva because it lends money to people who are trying to help themselves. My donation by itself seems rather paltry but paired with hundreds of others, I believe it makes a difference.
I’m thankful for Kiva and the other groups who help those who need help. It gives us a way to reach out to thousands of people. Our lives are not perfect, but there is still much to be thankful for even though all of us meet up with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as a matter of course: as part of life itself. I’m sitting here typing this post in a warm office with dinner in the oven. If I weren’t thankful already, I could start with that.