Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Are you Thankful for your Bathroom?

For this 2009 Thanksgiving, I thought I'd remind us to give thanks for things we don't usually remember to give thanks for.

Things for which we Should Express our Gratitude

Last night I went to the bathroom to take a shower. You won't believe this, but our shower has hot and cold running water, and the amount of water coming through the showerhead can be adjusted! How great is that? Less than a century ago, most people in the United States could not claim this. Most would have to go to back to an outhouse, not a bathroom. And once-a-week baths, shared by all family members were the norm.

Anyone want to go back a hundred years again and lose half the children that are born to a woman before that child is five?

Anyone want to go back to using horses as our main mode of transportation? Don't forget to clean up the manure, and shoo away the flies it attracts, and to close your nose while doing it.

Anyone want to go back before there was heat and air conditioning, sanitation, toilets, vaccines, or modern medicine?

Anyone want to give up their cell phones, computers, jets, GPS, and other technological marvels that make our lives so much simpler to communicate with anyone, anywhere almost for free?

Anyone want to go back before the 1990's when the World Wide Web came to prominence, bringing mankind's knowledge to anyone who had an Internet connection?

Every year, scientists are finding out how special our Universe is, and how special our Earth is – if a few things had been off by just a little life would not even exist. For instance, if the strength of gravity were off just a little, our Universe would not be fit for life. The Universe and Earth are more beautiful than anyone even 50 years ago could have imagined. Anyone want to take a chance and jump to another planet in another Universe at random? You go first.

Anyone want to go back and live during a world war? Due to our technology, our presidents, and our military, we have not been in a world war for over 60 years.

Anyone in the United States want to go back to a time before there was freedom of thought, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of trade, or freedom of association?

Anyone want to go back before the days of the Hubble Telescope and the awe-inspiring images it has sent to us?

Anyone want to go back to before people of all skin colors, and religious backgrounds could get the jobs they were qualified for, could get to sit in the same restaurants, and could get elected to be the President of the United States?

Expressing our Gratitude Every Day

It hard for all of us to remember to be thankful for the many gifts bestowed up on us by our Creator and His Creation, and by the inventions of His children. Here is prayer I learned from a friend, now deceased, that I try to say every day:

"Dear God, thank you for the love, beauty, health, peace and prosperity manifesting in my life. Please guide me in the furtherance of Your work."

And after my evening prayers, I try to remember to say the following:

"I send out love, peace, and goodwill to all of God's children."

A Side Benefit of being Grateful

The more we express gratitude for all that we have, the better we feel about ourselves and the healthier we are, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

And our “attitude of gratitude” is contagious. Others around us respond to it. Imagine a world in which we all express gratitude daily. Our world would be transformed overnight. How thankful would we be for that!


Tim Farage is a Senior Lecturer in the Computer Science Department at The University of Texas at Dallas. You are welcome to comment upon this blog entry and/or to contact him at

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