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I have no business being this fortunate

It’s 9:45, Thanksgiving morning. As I write this a Paul Simon song plays over a Sonos speaker. I am sipping from a large mug containing a mixture of coffee and hot chocolate. My daughter—16 and healthy and wonderful—just woke up. Downstairs my son, his best friend and my nephew are engaged in a video game battle. My wife is preparing turkey with her sister.

I live in Southern California.

I write books for a living.

I have no college loans.

My dog is adorable.

My parents are fantastic.

It is truly unfair.

Thanksgiving, to me, is a strange holiday. I love it. Genuinely. But I always feel a bit funny giving thanks for all I have, when as I do so millions of Americans are living in poverty, are sick, are homeless, are mentally ill. So many people are in pain—lasting, lingering, insufferable pain—and it seems sort … I dunno, something — to be thankful for what I have.

Here’s the truth: I’m no more worthy than anyone else. My mom and dad raised me in a safe environment. I never had to wonder whether a meal would be served. My college education was paid for. I was given a used car to reach my teenage jobs. Yes, I work hard. But so does the guy at the supermarket making minimum wage. So does the firefighter forced to work the Thanksgiving shift. So did the homeless guy who lost his job due to corporate cutbacks.

I am so fortunate.

So many are not.

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