The U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving tomorrow. For the 21st year in a row, I will be celebrating in the company of some wonderful friends in the house of one particular friend who has meant a lot to me during the darkest times of my life. At the start of the meal, we will all say what we are thankful for, and it will again be a variation of “family and good friends”, for good reason.

Tonight I want to expand on my answer. I am thankful for:

  • The people who sustain me with love, first and foremost my better (much better than me indeed) half.
  • The people who create and share beauty and teach me to do the same.
  • The researchers, doctors, and nurses who have made it possible for my much better half to be in good health more than 15 years after a scary diagnosis, delivered shortly after we were married.
  • The scientists, composers, poets, and artists of the past who have brought me the wonders of the world in its many splendors, a vast treasure that I will always be exploring.
  • My young friends who will continue on the path that no single person can ever find the end of: the path of growing in learning and beauty. As a young kid, I wanted to learn everything. I know it can’t be done, but may my young friends attain a larger measure of it than I have managed.
  • My students, past and present, who evince a thirst for knowledge and want to make the world better. They make the rigors of teaching worthwhile.

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