Wednesday, November 27, 2013
For All of This
My cat loves me. For that I am grateful.
Kind people populate my days. I have enough income to buy food, have a roof, and educate my sons.
I do not fear for their lives when they walk the streets at night. I don't have to listen for mortar shells falling from the sky while I sleep.
I do not spend my days asking if there are openings or whether or not businesses are taking applications. I have enough money in my pockets for a burrito whenever I want one, which is a little too often. I have a nice cushion around my middle.
I have not been displaced by events beyond my control, but have been free to migrate for work and play.
I am not tied to an IV pole. My body is not in constant pain. I can hear people when they talk to me, look them in the eyes, decide how best to respond. My brain can focus and gives me too much to think about. My heart seeks connection.
I do not have to join the indigent because I can't pay hospital bills.
I have not been robbed or been the victim of crime for a long time. I do not fear that I will be raped, nor do I stay in at night for dread of harassment. I walk around stores and clerks smile at me rather than follow me. I would make the perfect shoplifter.
I only get punched playing soccer, and injured riding my bike. I accept the risks.
And no, I am not a Republican. I do not take credit for my good fortune. I know that I am privileged beyond what many of my brothers and sisters on this planet can imagine.
My heart longs for companionship, meaningful work, affection, and peace. I love the longing. I still know desire.
I feel that I can act, that my limitations are as much mine as outside of me.
Social structures impede me no less than anyone else. I have been told I can do whatever I want.
I am not a slave.
I am not incarcerated.
I know that I am not free unless I help others to be more free.
I get to consume. My choices matter in a small way. My dollar can be a vote for quality, responsibility, and fairness.
I know that I am brainwashed by advertising, that I judge others by what they wear, how they talk, when they are selfish pricks. But I know that they are not just their actions and mistakes. That it is not my place or power to find fault with anyone other than myself, that I only have power over my own actions and attitude.
I know the 12 steps.
I know that I have f*&$ed up big time in my life, and I have many amends to make.
I am human and alive for a little while.
I will remember.
For all of this, I am grateful.