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25th November 2010

thanksgiving

thanksgiving

(Composed on the 3 flights that it took to get me home).

On the middle leg of the trip, I unfortunately had the window seat. My “traveling companions” were, I think, a very newly wed couple who made out and whispered sweet nothings for the majority of the trip. Luckily, I was quite sleep deprived (4 hours of sleep on my couch, as I dared not sleep in my bed because I would not wake up) and mostly slept, but ugh. A little decorum please.

This leg, I’m reading a book Chris and Gretchen gave me, called Half the Sky. Have any of you heard about it? It’s a really well-written, enlightening exploration of the plight of women and girls across the world. It’s been a harrowing read, a very uncomfortable reminder of poverty, violence and brutality that others face every day. The stories are engaging and unflinching – girls and women who suffered abuse, mutilation, trafficking, but how there is possibilities of hope. How spoiled I am by the comfortable life that I live. I’m about to go and eat a feast with my loved ones, with parents who value my existence and provided me with shelter, love and education. It’s one of the lessons learned when I went to Kenya – and I had forgotten.

I love the idea of thanksgiving and of Thanksgiving; it’s one of the holidays that hasn’t been completely encased in merchandise and materialism. Remember those blessings that I’ve been given and, yes, been blessed. Yet, when I think about that, it makes me feel guilty. Guilty for having so much, for not appreciating it enough. And even if I did, does it change the reality of the other people who haven’t?

There have been some practical suggestions of charities and projects in the book that I am looking forward to implementing. A chance to look outside myself again and truly give – money and passion. And maybe then, my thanks will means something.

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