I have a lot to be thankful for, and I know it.
I was not born on my own and I did not raise myself. I did not create the past; or the things, structures, and ideas which have benefited me from it. I do not now live wholly to or for or because of myself. I do not hope or expect to live in the future alone.
Many, many people have participated/ participate in my life. I am grateful for every one.
A broad Thank You to the
public figures who have inspired me
These are people of ideas and action. They've added obvious good to this world. Not everyone likes them. I do, and I thank them for their examples to me.
Overcomer, Reformer, Conservationist, Character
Author, Dreamer, Planter
Declaration of Independence
Person of Courage, Sustainer of the Union
Fortitude in Adversity, Layer-aside of Power
Good Guy, Believer in, and Doer of Good
Finder of New Ways
Willing to Be Out and Proud
and, not least,
Jesus of Nazareth
Expander of Humankind, Man, and God
Great Thanks to
Their support and love for me has been/ is tremendous. I have the perfect parents for me. Funny how that works.
A BIG Thanks to all my formal teachers
My formal education has included years in Montessori (8), prep school (6), and at university (4). I thank all my formal teachers and the systems they were part of: Bowie Montessori Children's House, Queen Anne School, St. Paul's School for Boys, The University of Virginia; and am thankful for the individual classes I've taken at Regent College (at The University of British Columbia), at what is now named Towson University, and the one I took at The Johns Hopkins University.
and my explicitly spiritual ones
I have also been very fortunate to listen to the words of people explicitly searching for meaning in this world. I appreciate that they sought, and, in many cases are still seeking, to know more about life.
Thank you to all those who gave the hundreds of sermons I've heard. You've given me things to think about. I've listened extensively in Episcopal, Presbyterian Church in America, and nondenominational churches as well as to many, many talks given at the Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools. I've also been fortunate to hear some of what the teachers in the Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, Roman Catholic, Foursquare, and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) traditions have to say.
Certain spiritual teachers stand out for me. They have their own perspectives of life and not always traditional ones. I appreciate their visions and their boldness in proclaiming them. These include John Stott, J.I. Packer, Joyce Meyer, and Joel Osteen (who all, broadly speaking, have an Evangelical Christian understanding) as well as the collective spirits know as Abraham, as presented by Esther and Jerry Hicks of Abraham-Hicks (who have a more directly experiential understanding of life). I've listened in person, listened by recording, watched videos and, in one case, took a class from these teachers, and thank them all.
Many, Many Thanks to
67 people +
Sixty-seven people came to mind when I first actively considered those to whom I owe special thanks. Sixty-seven! And that was off the top of my head! I have since thought of many more.
I especially thank those with whom I've visited and stayed, be it for a night, a week, or, in some cases, months and even years. You opened up yourselves, your homes, your very lives to me, and I thank you greatly.
And I cannot forget my roommates, or my dating and romantic partners from over the years. The seven-year relationship I had with a good and loving man. You liked and loved me even when you experienced me not always at my best. Thanks for sharing part of your lives with me.
You are all stars.
Appreciation also to 10,000 more
I am thankful for all the people in my life. If we've met, had contact in person or electronically, thank you. You've helped me and I appreciate it. Probably ten thousand people have demonstrably added to my life in some way.
Your perspectives and assistance have been and are gifts.
a particular Thank You to you,
dear reader, you
Thank you for for investigating my thoughts. For entertaining and considering them.
Thank you for already adding to the world, and for wanting to add more.
A photo I took on the Amtrak bus trip from Palm Springs, CA to Newbury Park, CA. The message is perhaps obvious: we are all interconnected. The colors in the image have been augmented.