So many of us are experiencing new heights of irritation with and alienation from our own nations’ government. But consider this post an opportunity to shift our eyes in gratitude. When I’m struggling to feel content here, I think of my African friends’ perspectives on just what abundance we drink in every day.

Today’s and tomorrow’s posts, rather than reinforcing the misguided, often arrogant notion that developing-world countries are horrible places to live, are simply invitations to be grateful with me about what we have…but generally did not create for ourselves.

We stand on the shoulders of so many who provide remarkable services for us that make our lives more comfortable, self-actualized, free from pain, convenient, and easy. Far from positioning us as superior, these gifts humble me. 

Want to be thankful with me?

For what do you have that you did not receive?

-the apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 4:7

  1. Clean water that doesn’t make you sick.
  2. Indoor heating/cooling.
  3. A dishwasher.
  4. A flushing toilet.
  5. Access to quality medical care.
  6. Access to immunizations.
  7. Considerably less petty theft.
  8. A refrigerator.
  9. Access to a college education.
  10. A long projected lifespan.
  11. A car, and affordable access to gasoline.
  12. Dental care.
  13. Education about hygiene.
  14. A law system that actively prosecutes corruption.
  15. Paved roads.
  16. Policemen who enforce laws.
  17. Education about first aid.
  18. Access to counseling and mental health services.
  19. A shower.
  20. Home protection against disease-carrying pests.
  21. Access to trash collection and recycling.
  22. A washing machine and dryer.
  23. More food than you need.
  24. Available public education.
  25. Education about nutrition.
  26. Books; libraries.
  27. Access to birth control.
  28. A thriving economy.
  29. Access to the internet.
  30. Growing levels of justice for women, minorities, and the poor.
  31. Literacy.

C’mon back tomorrow for 31 more reasons to be thankful!

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