Recognizing Luck

Thanksgiving is the typical time to feel grateful for what you have, so I hear. To tell the truth, I’m not one to be sentimental and usually the primary thought that crosses my mind on Thanksgiving is “When do we eat?”

This past Thursday, my role in Better World Books really hit it home for me that I am really, really lucky. I’m more than well-fed, I’ve got a college degree under my belt, and I have access to health care: a trifecta of good fortune.

Normally, I think about such achievements as the product of hard work and intellect, not the environment of opportunities I was born into. “Gee, I’m really glad that I wasn’t surrounded by violence, famine, and an AIDS crisis when I was a kid,” is usually not my first thought about how my life’s events have unfolded. Living in the United States, it’s easy to forget how lucky I’ve been, since most of the time I interact with people who are equally fortunate.

Considering the relationship between poverty, war, disease and illiteracy, it’s a no-brainer that education must be improved for children who aren’t as lucky as myself, here in the U.S. and worldwide.

Like I said, I’m not one for sentimentality, but I’m really grateful that Better World Books has engaged so many people in this mission of literacy  — and I’m grateful that our BWB partners (including students, professors, librarians and bookstore managers) take part in this mission year-round, not just on a turkey-filled holiday.

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