Monthly Archives: May 2015

One fever, five people, and at least a dozen ways to be grateful

Recently a fever swept through our household. Both of my children and I each were laid low for a few days. Now that we’re fully recovered, it’s time to be grateful. Thats right, grateful. I can think of twelve reasons:

  1. I’m grateful for living in a scientifically advanced world that has knowledge of viruses.
  2. I’m grateful that I can get sound medical advice based on that scientific knowledge.
  3. I’m grateful for living in a medically advanced society that has proven and safe fever-reducing medicines.
  4. I’m grateful that I live in a society where both the medical advice and the medicine were easily accessible.
  5. I’m grateful that I live in a society where both the medical advice and medicine were easily affordable.
  6. I’m grateful that I live in decent shelter with the invaluable technology of air conditioning. (I live in Singapore. If I lived in the far north or south, I’d be talking about central heating.)
  7. I’m grateful that I live in a society where clean water and proper nutrition were easily available and affordable – right in my home, no less.
  8. I’m grateful that we are able to hire help to get groceries and cook and clean while the sickness swept through the house. (More on that in a separate post.)
  9. I’m grateful my wife works hard to get the money and benefits necessary to cover the cost of our portion of #’s 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
  10. Though my wife did not have to miss work because of our illness this time, I’m grateful that she works in a job where she could if necessary without jeopardizing her income, as is true for many hourly workers.
  11. I’m grateful that I have a supportive family overall. Even the kids chipped in to help once they started feeling better.
  12. I’m grateful I live in a stable society not torn apart by natural disasters or the human-made disasters of war, ethnic conflict, and religious conflict.

I’m sure if I take the time, I could think of more. You can probably think of some yourself.

Let me make some points:

  • If you live today in an advanced, stable society, you are incredibly fortunate. Be thankful for those who went before you and everything they accomplished and built. Honor their memory by expanding it for the next generation.
  • A decent society figures out a way to provide #’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12 to everyone. As for #’s 9 and 11, that’s up to you. You likely already provide #9 on your own. You are to be commended.
  • Everything I’m thankful for on this list became possible because of the right mix of government services and intervention; private, profit-seeking initiative; decent individuals and strong families; and people striving to create a vibrant civil society. It takes everyone and every institution working together to make civilization possible.