Let's be honest. The world is really messed up right now.
Ferguson. Immigration. Healthcare. All polarizing events that are splitting the country in half. You're either for the decisions that have been made by those leading the government or against them. The emotion behind everyone's conversation seems to rise to a boil instantly.
ISIS. Ebola. Crisis that are affecting the whole world. Sure, they are over-sensationalized by the media but they are very real and a threat to all of our livelihoods.
These big issues shadow other stories that would have been big news otherwise: Bill Cosby's rape allegations, the 12 year old that was killed by policeman for brandishing a BB gun, the fraternities suspended for gang rape at the University of Virginia.
Oh... and by the way... the Nigerian school girls that were kidnapped back in April? Still missing.
Personally, this hasn't been a great year for the world around me. I've got friends who are sick with cancer, friends who have died, and several friends that have recently lost their jobs.
2014 is one depressing year.
So with racism, rape, death, and terrorism flooding the headlines, what in the world can we be thankful for?
As you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, here are some "Thanks-Starters":
1) You have food in front of you. (obvious one)
2) You're surrounded by family and friends. (Even if you're uncle's a douchbag)
3) We live in a country where there is due process and a trial system. (We also have the ability to protest without repercussions in the event we believe justice isn't served.)
4) We have easy access to the world's best healthcare. (If we can't afford it, the government's going to end up footing the bill from the ER.)
5) The media is really good at punishing those that have sinned in the public eye. (Cosby may never face trial for his accused rape charges, but his legacy has flipped from the jello pudding man to rapist.)
6) By comparison to the rest of the world, we're really rich.
This is just the beginning of things we can be grateful for. I believe there's still good in this world. It's there to be found. Sometimes you have to pull up every stone that's been thrown and check under it.
From everyone here at Pencilstorm, we wish you, your families, and your friends, a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Wal Ozello is a science fiction techno-thriller novelist and the author of Assignment 1989: The Time Travel Wars and Revolution 1990. He's a resident of Upper Arlington, Ohio and a frequent customer at Colin's Coffee.