Every day is a day of Thanksgiving. Take the time to especially reflect and give thanks on Thanksgiving. I attended a documentary screening during Thanksgiving week , produced by BET International, on Extra-Ordinary Life (XOL). Extra-Ordinary Life is a Washington, DC based charitable organization that nurtures and enriches the lives of teenage girls living in foster care environments. It also brings attention to children in foster care in DC and throughout the United States. The documentary focused on 8 teenagers living in foster care who traveled to South Africa for a life changing experience in the summer of 2010. There are over 423,000 children living in foster care throughout the United States. Generally, if children in the foster care system are not adopted as a baby, many remain in foster care their entire lives until they reach adulthood. Some never experience a “forever home” through no fault of their own. The documentary showed the eight teenage girls as they journeyed to various parts of South Africa. They visited a shanty town where they saw orphan children living in unimaginable poverty by our standards with very few possessions. Yet, they noticed a thankfulness in the orphan children’s attitude, despite their outward poverty. It caused them to reflect and place in perspective their own living situation.
As I watched the documentary, it reminded me that being thankful is not about what you don’t have. It’s about being thankful for what we do have. It’s about being thankful whether our family connections are together, missing or broken. It’s about being thankful whether our possessions are few or many.
May everyone be thankful on this Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!
Debbie Hines, Esq. is a political and legal commentator who contributes to the Huffington Post. She holds a Juris Doctorate from George Washington University and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.