Thanksgiving is a time for family, food, and, of course, giving thanks. But if you’re #woke, you know that this holiday is a sham built on violent genocide that continues the tradition by killing animals by the millions (45 million, to be precise, and that’s just turkeys).
Meanwhile, it’s hard to feel thankful or optimistic any day of the year while the destructive of the entire planet looms over our heads like the sword of Damocles.
Yet, unless we are willing to give ourselves over entirely to nihilism or depression, we have to find a way to live in this world. And, whether it’s rational or not, finding things to be grateful for is important to your mental health.
So, here are things you may be thankful for this Thanksgiving. They may not all apply to you, because maybe you have less to be thankful for than others. That’s how life goes. But as long as we have one to say thanks for around the dinner table this year, Memaw will be satisfied.
1. Our Families
Your family may be dysfunctional, spread across the country, broken, poor, or just generally horrible — but there’s probably someone out there who’s family is worse than yours. So be grateful!
2. Your Friends
Friends, the family you got to choose. All their petty drama is worth it, because you know they’re the only ones who will put up with all your whining about your family.
3. The Food On the Table
Your mother would be mad if I didn’t include this one. After all, there are starving children in Africa! Even if your Thanksgiving table is just ramen alone in front of the TV, at least you have ramen, a pot to cook it in, a stove (or fire), and presumably running water. Since 43% of the world still doesn’t have access to running water, including even Americans, you’re doing just fine.
4. Being Human
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to recognize our luck being born into the species that is powerful enough to destroy the world for literally everyone else. Your family may be dysfunctional, but at least you didn’t have to watch them be slaughtered in front of you!
5. Being a White Man
Are you a white man? Great! You have loads to be grateful for! Today is the best time to revel in your privilege, exploit those beneath you, and call it a meritocracy. Sit back, kick your feet up, and enjoy watching your mom and wife argue about if the stuffing is too dry. Don’t worry, someone will bring you a beer in a minute!
Bonus: Not a white man? You can still be grateful for all the white men in your life! Who else would write all those mean comments to you online about what a nasty, ungrateful, bitch you are?
6. The Internet
Speaking of online, we all know that you’re going to spend more time on your phone this holiday than actually talking to your second Aunt Susan (I don’t blame you). So while you’re browsing Reddit or playing Candy Crush (is that still cool?), be grateful for the internet. It’s what brings us together, and what tears us apart. Truly, how boring would life be without it? We might even have a different President! Wait… on second thought, hold the gratitude.
7. That Life Has Made It This Far
Considering the infinitesimally small chances of life forming in the first place, it’s actually pretty impressive that we’ve made it to this point in human evolution in the first place! I guess if you’re a negative utilitarian you might not consider this something to be grateful for, but the rest of us can just be happy to exist!
M. K. is a feminist writer and activist with a background in mental health advocacy. Subscribe to get her latest posts directly in your inbox.
CC-BY-SA, M. K. Fain