Happy Thanksgiving week!
Although I feel an ongoing sense of gratitude for my beautiful wife and children, my friends, my health and the ability to do wake up and do work I enjoy – this time of year I always feel a tug to say it out loud: Thank you!
You may be a little annoyed about the peeling paint on your back deck; maybe your garbage disposal is on the fritz, your drapes are “so last season,” or you missed out on the very best interest rate on your home loan because your credit had a few too many dings. I hear you – I’ve dealt with most of the same minor housing annoyances you have. And yet – we have so many things to be grateful for in terms of the roof over our heads… Read on for a checklist of home ownership blessings worth being grateful for.
A Gratitude Checklist for Homeowners
- Clean running water. According to the United Nations 783 million people do not have access to clean water, and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. Makes that long hot shower feel even better, doesn’t it? (water.org can help you do something about this, if you are so inclined.)
- Electricity. Typetty-type-type. This post comes to you courtesy of electricity, a laptop computer and wireless internet. Just 30% of the world’s population enjoys electricity. Think refrigeration, microwaves, most forms of media…
- F00d. A fierce familial debate over the relative merits of boiled versus crockpot mashed potatoes… let’s just admit most of this nation is doing pretty well on Thanksgiving Day and beyond in terms of the variety and availability of healthy foods – or any kind of food we want. 12.9% of the world’s population faces food insecurity according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
- HVAC. If the local watering hole threatens your health, you lack electricity and you are downright hungry, chances are good temperature regulation is a low priority. Colorado winters are a funny thing, and some temperature sensitive folks I know have been known to blast the heat one day and run the AC the next when one of our trademark snowstorm-followed-by-summer-temps hits town. We enjoy comfort at the flip of a switch, and I try not to take this for granted.
- Shelter. The United Nations’ last global survey on homelessness (in 2005) determined there were 100 million homeless people worldwide, with the number of individuals facing “inadequate housing” reaching as high as 1.6 billion; these numbers are difficult to track. For example, is a ‘house’ made out of detritus and located in a slum adequate shelter? Should individuals temporarily able to find shelter on someone else’s couch be considered ‘adequately housed’? Tough questions, and this information makes it so easy to be grateful for the roof over our heads – be it a suburban McMansion, a diminutive condo or something in between.
So. Gratitude. And I share this information not to tie you up in knots of guilt – but because it lends perspective to the minor annoyances in our daily lives and reminds us to be grateful for the good things we are blessed with every day. And if some of these global factoids inspire you to write a check for the greater good, volunteer for a cause you care about or drop a couple of bucks in a Salvation Army kettle on the way into Target – that’s okay, too.
Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope yours will be spent with the ones you love.
The Meyers Group