With the world in a bit of turmoil and our daily lives often one crisis after another we often forget that there is a lot to be thankful for.  Negative events and thoughts seem to poke their heads above the daily fray of activities more so than good and rewarding things.  We in America are a culture that is primed for action much like an high strung athlete ready to be the first off the starting blocks at the first sound of the starting gun.

In fact the joys of life abound around us and within us.  We simply need to be more aware of those times and moments.  They exist in the momentary kindnesses of people you meet or interact with.  They exist in the physical and social environment in which you live.  But for we who are so fortunate to live in a country such as America where affluence exist for most, where one has many opportunity options, and where there is relative freedom to express oneself, things all too often taken for granted, there is much to be thankful for.  I have often pointed out many of our nations faults and weaknesses in prior postings but I have also pointed out the tremendous opportunities it has offered me personally.

Had I been born in the small farming village of my father in one of the poorest parts of China I would have probably never finished elementary school and would have been destitute as a dirt farmer the rest of my life.  I have to occasionally remind myself of this and count my blessings that my parents came to this country where I had the fortune to be later born.  Had I not had a nurturing parent who urged me to shoot for the stars I would likely be an assembly worker or bagging groceries until I was too old to work.  Had I not worked in a good company all my career which allowed me the flexibility to exercise my creativity I might have not accomplished the things I did during my career.  Had I not seen a doctor on an annual basis and gotten my PSA tested regularly I could have died from aggressive prostate cancer a year or two ago and would have been pushing up daisies.

There were so many chances for me to fail or worst.  But the opportunities offered in this country were just ripe for a person as flawed as I.  I worked hard all my life.  I received no free rides.  I frequently did not make the best decisions in life.  But as a whole I apparently did more things right than wrong or at least the decisions of greatest significance in the long run far outweighs the less desirable ones.  I had the opportunity to make most of my decisions freely and I guess had the wisdom to make most of them correctly.

Though I might appear to be a fairly liberal thinker I am in fact quite conservative when it comes to making decisions that might result in major changes in my life.  I worked in only one company almost 40 years and worked in the same division in that company my entire career.  I changed jobs in that division only 4 time.  So you can get a sense of how conservative I was for change in a highly dynamic high tech environment where people changed jobs and companies every 3-5 years.  Yet within those jobs I created many opportunities for myself to make changes and improvements and eventually invent a new technology.  So even though I was conservative in making changes that involved working with new people and organizations I was willing and able to make changes within my immediate sphere of influence.  A lot has to do with my autism but I also had a curiosity and drive to better myself within my comfort zone.  Within that comfort zone I took quite bold chances technologically with fairly high confident of eventual success.  Yet when I had to deal with new people I had very little confidence or aggressiveness.  But in the end I succeeded in ways I could not have dreamed.

Yes, I have plenty to be thankful for.  It has been a good and wonderful life.  But life is still not at an end even though I am retired from my career at work.  I am still searching for the next big challenge.  Now I have plenty of spare time and am my own boss.  I have my good days as well as bad ones.  My health is not as good as it used to be.  Before my limitations were the people and organization I worked under.  Today it is my health and endurance which hinder me from achieving my best efforts.  But life always has one constrain or another.

It is not a perfect world we live but it is a challenging one worthy of counting my blessings which are many.  So life goes on and I keep finding things to be thankful for and about.  Life is about struggling and learning from failure and enjoying your successes.  Once you stop struggling you stop living.  I have already lived a life that I am grateful for and continue to struggle and challenge myself with things like this blog, but if nothing else happens to the very end at least I have that to be thankful for.

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