It's no newsflash that today is Thanksgiving in America.
Like Canada, and even more so, I suppose, America is truly the land of plenty: where approximately five percent of the world's population consumes (so I am told) about twenty to twenty-five percent of the world's resources. I'm not being smug because, on a per capita basis, we are not a whole lot less consumptive here in Canada.
I have just been reading Bill Bryson's very short work on Africa that he freely produced for CARE. The timing of this reading juxtaposes somewhat ironically with the annual event that is Thanksgiving. Bryson's account reminds me of the various luxuries that we take for granted.
He toured one neighbourhood where most people's daily allotment of water is the approximate equivalent to the volume we send down the toilet with one flush. Many of the more fortunate souls in much of Africa have jobs that barely provide them enough to eat. Those who are especially fortunate may be able to afford to send their kids to school — public school that is. Many women still walk for hours to obtain the day's water rations. Such is the lot of countless millions: to speak nought of the truly miserable souls who are trapped in war-torn or famine-ravished regions.
This isn't news to either you or me, but it is important that we are made to recall this knowledge from time to time and especially at this time of feasting. It's rather easy to blithely murmur our thanks, but, sometimes, we require a deeper reminding of the incredible vastness of our bounty.
Thank you destiny for allowing me to be who I am where I am. As I enjoy my pumpkin pie, I wish that billions of my brothers and sisters could also enjoy a small slice: as opposed to their present paucity of crumbs.