Things To Be Thankful For In America

This summer, I was visiting my grandma’s house and saw the July edition of Time Magazine placed upon the couch. The title read, “240 Reasons to Celebrate America Right Now.” 

I asked my step-grandpa, “So, do you agree with their reasons?”

He responded with a prompt "no"-- an answer many would likely concur with if such an article were released today. 

(WorldwideNewsOnline)

A few months ago, tensions were certainly high in this nation, but for many today, those strains have compounded into fear, anxiety, rage and disappointment. While these feelings are valid, let us take a step back and try to see some of the ways we are truly blessed in this country.

Even in this difficult time, our country is making some progress. According to Business Insider, over 131 million ballots were counted this election, reaching just below the all-time high. Although it was extreme polarization that challenged people to exercise their rights this year, the public is getting engaged and realizing politics cannot be dismissed any longer. I’ve seen people from many ends of the spectrum discussing the issues, trying to find a common ground about what we can do to fix the problems we all see. 

Using our voices and coming together are the best things we can do in this time. Even the simple act of voting is an incredible privilege not offered in other countries, and one our predecessors had to fight for. There are places where people are silenced, while here we can speak up about the changes we desire. These are rights to be thankful for and never taken for granted.

(MediaCache)

Some big successes for minorities were also made this election. According to ABC News, the US has elected its most diverse Congress in history, and the Senate will see a record number of women of color, including Kamala Harris of California and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, the first Latina senator. Primala Jayapal of Washington, a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, will be the first Vietnamese-American individual in Congress. Hopefully such victories do not go entirely overshadowed by results in The White House. 

(ABC News)

Another thing to be thankful for is that, even for those upset with the status quo, there is always hope for change. The public can exercise its voice every four years and elect someone new for president. The government purposefully has a system of checks and balances to keep leaders and offices from overstepping their bounds. Even better, we have a representative democracy where you can reach out to your local officials and express your concerns.

If nothing else, find strength in family, friends, passions and the things that make you smile. There are many reasons to celebrate life in America, even if it’s hard to see that right now.