The Big Things
I will admit that one of the reasons I read the news is to appreciate my life. I can't, for example, feel sorry for myself when I read about natural disasters or school shootings or political unrest in the Arab world. Despite difficult times and frustrations and setbacks, I have a happy life. Things always get better, even if only for a moment.
People who have experienced the worst things in life express this hope, too. Michelle Knight, one of the three captives of Ariel Castro, spent the majority of her twenties living with abuse. She was threatened, beaten, and raped for more than 10 years. And yet, she said this to the Cleveland Police Department after her rescue:
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly."
I am dumbfounded by her strength. Her words meant so much to me when I read them. I felt a renewed sense of hope and courage and gratitude. I am thankful for the "little things" in life -- friends and sunshine and music. But today I am particularly thankful for the big things -- a warm bed at night, food to eat, and the opportunity to determine what I do each day.