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A Million Reasons to Be Thankful

Thanksgiving may just be my favorite holiday. I can’t think of a better reason to take a day off than one to be grateful for what we have. That is what Thanksgiving is for, isn’t it?

Thanksgiving may just be my favorite holiday. I can’t think of a better reason to take a day off than to be grateful for what we have. That is what Thanksgiving is for, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, the real reason for Thanksgiving gets lost in a day that becomes as stressful as any other.

We battle the incivilities of travel–horrendous traffic and mobbed airports; we stress over in-laws, sleeping arrangements, and cooking the perfect meal; and we recover from the whole ordeal by gorging ourselves, plopping in front of the TV to watch football, falling asleep, and then we wake up on Friday morning to go shopping!

Sometimes Thanksgiving hardly seems like a holiday at all.

So why not make an extra effort to be thankful this week? Eat and shop a little less, and be grateful a little more.

Do not forget those who have less. Even when it seems there are so many with more. There are so many more with less.

Because if you live in the United States, if you’re reading this from your own computer, if you have family or friends to meet with tomorrow, if you have food on your table, if you have a car or public transit you can rely on to get you where you’re going tomorrow…

If you have a roof over your head, if you hold a job, if you received an education, if you have clothes that keep you warm, if you feel safe at night and when you walk in your neighborhood, you have plenty to be thankful for.

So this week let’s remember…

That millions of people right here in America can’t afford to live on what they earn. Curious? Find out the living wage in your city.

Of the underpaid, more than 27 million Americans, or 12.6% of our population, live in poverty and may be hungry. Learn more about hunger in America from America’s Second Harvest.

There will also be empty seats at thousands of tables around the country in families that have lost servicemen and women in the last five years or are waiting for their soldiers to return from extended deployments. Remember Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s fallen men and women.

Also remember that if you anticipate having the means to live in a suburb with quality schools, millions of children are left to learn in substandard schools in cities all over America. Just how bad are some of our schools?

What are some reasons you’ll be thankful this year?

About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

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