Thank you, existence, for everything.

To talk about gratitude more precisely, however, means looking specifically at the facts of human dependence on forces beyond our control. We derive our existence from, and belong to, both natural forces and the generations that preceded us, from the big bang that created the sun, to the microbes in the soil, to proto-humans developing skills in relation to the natural world around them. They have bequeathed us air and water and arable soil, habitat and language, and networks of tools and technologies. Each generation is rooted also in its inheritance of consciousness, including literatures, expectations, and even of course debilities and limitations. Whoever and wherever we are, we start from where those who came before left off, our lineage of development stretching all the way from early humans learning to use fire and migrating from Africa and then forward to particular peoples, nations, religious and ethnic groups, classes, and families, with their collective and individual struggles to be treated and live more decently. It is no less profound for being a truism: all of this history is indeed our story.

Thank you, existence, for everything.