We don’t realize how entitled we are–we Americans, I mean.

I’m not talking about the one percent. I’m talking about the 75 percent. Maybe that percentage is off–I was never good at math–but a lot of us Americans feel entitled to a good life. We feel if we work hard and save, that in the end, we should be able to have nice things, go on vacation, be safe, have a car and maybe a house. There are the uber-rich, sure, who have no roots in reality. But, all those people you just saw running around in the malls, trying to buy the latest and the coolest, don’t fit in that category.

It’s become so apparent to me this year how lucky we are. What we take for granted just doesn’t exist for so much of the rest of the world. Yesterday, our hot water heater went out. We were without hot water for 24 hours. I boiled some water on the stove to wash the dishes. We went without showers for a day. I put off doing a load of whites. We survived ! 🙂 It does make you think about the people who don’t even have running water. And I know that includes many Americans.

When I walked out of the grocery store yesterday, a middle aged woman was standing with a sign in the parking lot. I had just donated a bag of groceries inside the store. I have decided that this is the way to help the hungry, not by giving handouts. But I decided to talk to her. I asked her if she knew about social services. She said she was a graphic artist who’d been laid off by Nickelodeon, and her insurance had just run out. She was living in her car. She’d never thought she would be in this position and didn’t know what to do. I told her she had to get herself into the system–that this is why we pay social security. I told her to call Jewish Family Service or Catholic Services. These agencies help people in crisis. I said that begging for money wasn’t going to help her out for long. I gave her twenty dollars….Whether her story was true or fabricated, I can’t tell you. Her sign was lettered perfectly as a graphic artist’s would be. In the old days before Elizabeth Smart, I probably would have taken her home with me. But you can’t be too careful with strangers, right?

AS this year ends, it is time to celebrate our good fortune. It is time to be thankful for all we have. Happy New Year.

On our family trip to Hawaii.

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