I am grateful for illegal aliens. My parents were born in Eastern Europe and each came here illegally. To this day I get chills when I hear or sing the Star Spangled Banner. On occasion, I am brought to tears. I thank the universe that my grandparents did what had to be done so that my parents could survive into adulthood and build lives outside of an environment filled with poverty and violence.
I am grateful for political discord. I grew up in an era when politicians' belief systems caused them to often disagree with each other, but whose love of this country caused them to negotiate. We have forgotten that being right stops us from being productive, and that political dogma is often the end of the road, rather than the beginning. I hope there is a return to political discord in my lifetime.
I am grateful for rude behavior, or rather, am grateful that I am old enough now to stand up to it. If you see me in a store, don't even think about cutting in line or rushing up to a newly opened cash register, while other have been patiently waiting. If you tailgate me, I will slow down to a crawl. If you are a sales person and ignore me, I will revert to my days as a teacher and treat you as an unruly student. And you don't want that to happen.
I am grateful for negative people. I see your behavior in a way that I can't see my own when I'm being negative. You make me laugh at my own negativity and have me see possibility I never did before.
I am grateful for grandchildren who cry and fuss. They do not make me feel agitated or filled with self-doubt, as my children did They remind me that I now have a perspective that I didn't have when my own children were little. And, because I have that perspective, I am able to calm them down a lot more quickly than I ever did my children. Even in their worst moments, my grandchildren are an adventure, of the very best kind.
I am grateful for people who know I write a blog but who don't read it. They remind me that a world exists outside of me, in other words, outside of my head stuck into a laptop screen. And they remind me to be better at what I do, because maybe, just maybe, they will then read what I write.