It’s the Thanksgiving time of year and I’m feeling grateful. So in celebration of the holiday, I want to be specific about exactly why, for what and to whom I’m grateful.
First of all I’m grateful for my health. On October 16th I underwent colon cancer surgery and I happy to say that’s all the treatment that was needed and for that I’m thankful.
I’m especially thankful for the medical staff that cared for me and the publically funded institutions that provided their elementary and secondary, and in some instances, post secondary educations.
If you’ve ever had major surgery, I’m sure you would agree that the drugs used to keep you comfortable are something to be thankful for. I am and also want to thank the tax payer provided National Institutes of Health funding that helped the scientists to do the basic research to develop these drugs. And of course the taxpayer funded government subsidies and patent laws that allow pharmaceutical companies to recoup their research costs.
Lest we forget the many government funded research institutions that discover the cures for major diseases like mine – thank you!
And while I’m at it, I want to acknowledge the publically funded military where many of the medical tools and techniques that helped me are developed and perfected.
While I was in the hospital I was never worried about drinking contaminated water or having sewage backflow into my room, thanks to the publically funded sanitary services provided by the city government.
I also didn’t worry about roving bands of bandits raiding the hospital for drugs because I knew the tax payer supported police department was on duty 24 -7. Nor did I worry about the building catching fire because I knew the tax payer funded fire department had inspected the facilities for any potential threats.
And I knew the food I ate was safe because of government regulations being prescribed and monitored by agencies funded by the taxpaying public.
Of course, how can I not mention the government managed Medicare Health Insurance policy that will pay for most of the costs of my 14 days in the hospital and rehab facilities? Thanks again.
I grateful I didn’t need to worry about going bankrupt because my private insurance plan had a limit. And another thing: Being old must have been a pre-existing condition before the Obamacare.
It may be a stretch but I’m thankful for the publically funded infrastructure that allowed my doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides, and all the other support staff to drive to work and arrive on time without delays from impassible roads or washed out bridges.
Oh, and I want to say that my friends and family were a major factor in my recovery so I want to offer thanks to the taxpayer funded public forms of transportation; airports, trains, highways, and bridges they used to get to me and provide the support I needed.
Also, the get well cards delivered by the publically supported postal service were a welcome gift and lifted my spirits.
Finally, I never pass up a thanksgiving opportunity to remember my ancestors who left their homelands, cultures, families and languages to come to America, the land of opportunity, to make a better life for themselves and their descendants.
They came to a land that didn’t welcome them with open arms but they worked hard, provided for their families and integrated into the mainstream. And now I’m thankful to be the beneficiary of their sacrifices.
So because I’ve overcome a few obstacles and had a measure of success it would be easy to pat myself on the back and say, “I built this – this life of relative comfort – on my own.”
Yes, I could but it would be complete BS. I’m thankful to the thousands of people whose contributions have helped me throughout my life. And if you think it through honestly, you will be thankful too.
Robert De Filippis