5 things I’m not thankful for

Why is it so easy to overlook the obvious?

5 things I’m not thankful for

5 things I’m not thankful for 2560 1920 Looking out Loud

This is 60-second Dadspeak—daily reflections on becoming a dad, while still growing up myself. You can find the full mini-pod audio list here.


November 25, 2021

Well, Happy Thanksgiving, if that’s your thing. It’s a day to be thankful for family, friends, food, health, warm houses, and yada, yada. And I appreciate all those things. But this note is about five things that I’m not thankful for.

  1. I’m not thankful for running water in my house, hot and cold, that I can also drink, even though 4.5 billion people in the world don’t have indoor plumbing, and over 800 million don’t have safe drinking water.
  2. I’m not thankful for vaccines against polio and measles, even though immunizations save 4-5 million lives every year. And before vaccines eradicated smallpox in 1977, that killed another 5 million a year.
  3. I’m not thankful that I was born at the end of the twentieth century, by far the safest period in history. I hear those Pilgrim days, Middle Ages, and Roman times were pretty grim.
  4. I’m not thankful for computing technology, even though it lets me live anywhere in the world and still have an instantaneous video call with my mom (if only she could figure out how her phone works.)
  5. I’m not thankful that I was born with eyes and ears that work, even though more than 400 million people are either deaf or blind, and 15 million people suffer from loss of both.

Now, of course I am grateful for all these things, when I remember to be. But I usually forget. Why is it so easy to overlook the little things, even though they’re actually some of the biggest. Is there anything you’re not thankful for?



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