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Sunday, February 18, 2024

Giving Thanks When the World Is on Hearth


It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow. At the moment of 12 months I normally thanks, my readers, for all of your help, and I’m as soon as once more grateful for that this 12 months. As at all times, it’s a privilege to have the ability to e mail you. I’m additionally grateful for the entire ways in which Interpreter subscribers are an lively group: that you just not solely learn these newsletters but additionally advocate books, e mail me suggestions, and ship questions and ideas that give me concepts for future columns.

However this 12 months, much more than in earlier ones, I discover that I can not rely the blessings with out additionally counting the sorrows and fears that lurk of their shadows.

Whereas I’m grateful for this job and group, I’m additionally grateful that I can work in security, in contrast to the 53 journalists and media staff who’ve been killed in Gaza, Israel and Lebanon because the struggle started or the numerous others who proceed to work regardless of fixed and inescapable mortal hazard.

I’m grateful that my household and I shouldn’t have to huddle in a hospital or in a college within the useless hope of being secure from bombs, or to depend on an “iron dome” to guard us from rockets.

I’m grateful that I’ve by no means needed to beg my youngsters to be quiet for hours whereas we hid from individuals attempting to homicide us and our neighbors in our personal properties. I’m grateful that I’ve not spent each second of the final 46 days and nights frantic over the destiny of family members taken hostage. I’m grateful that my youngsters have by no means felt the ache of burying a beloved sibling. Grateful that I’ve by no means needed to scrawl their names on their limbs in everlasting marker in case I die and they’re discovered by strangers.

I’m grateful that if my youngsters ask me for water, I can simply activate a faucet; that in the event that they ask me for meals, I may give it to them with out having to danger my life to hunt for it in a struggle zone. Grateful that if we would have liked a hospital, it might have electrical energy and sterile gear and provides like anesthesia obtainable.

Grateful that my youngsters are alive. Grateful that my husband is alive. Grateful that I’m alive. Grateful that every one of you studying this are alive. But in addition unhappy and offended that we dwell in a world the place these items are blessings to be counted, and the place so many can not accomplish that.


Jenny Sidhu, a reader in Rocklin, Calif., recommends “Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver and “Dopesick” by Beth Macy:

A beautiful double function: Demon Copperhead adopted by Dopesick. Or vice versa maybe? A deep dive into the opioid disaster, its influence on communities and the function of Purdue Pharma. The background info and humanity depicted in these tales had me re-evaluating my very own stance on the individuals who dwell within the communities affected. A superb and humbling instance of strolling in another person’s footwear.


Thanks to everybody who wrote in to inform me about what you’re studying. Please hold the submissions coming!

I wish to hear about issues you might have learn (or watched or listened to) which have had the most important influence on you this 12 months. What modified your perspective on the world?

For those who’d wish to take part, you possibly can fill out this type. I could publish your response in a future publication.

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