For a few minutes this weekend, most of us will set aside some time to ponder the things we're grateful for.
Good health, we'll say. Or, if we're being particularly insightful, we'll be thankful for the food on the table, the pay cheque that allowed us to buy it and the good fortune to have a home to serve it all in.
And then we'll get back to eating turkey and feeling disgruntled about something or other, wishing we had a better car or more money in the bank.
How quickly we forget that, as residents of one of the wealthiest countries in the world, we enjoy freedom, liberty and access to education and health care that is practically unparalleled.
Here at the NOW, we are regularly reminded of the trials experienced by people in other parts of the world through the stories we cover: like the young Burnaby girl from Haiti who sold 'dirt cookies' (flat biscuits of dirt, salt and shortening that poverty stricken Haitians eat to fill their stomachs) as part of a fundraiser for her home country.
Or the man who escaped Iran after years of religious persecution, leaving the country on foot under the dark of night, fearing for his family's life at every step. Or the Burnaby city staffer who came to Canada after a childhood living under the oppressive laws of apartheid-era South Africa. Or the young man who fled his home in Sudan at the age of nine, becoming one of the 'Lost Boys' without home or family.
We don't recall these tales to suggest that we in Canada should simply be grateful for our lot in life and never work to improve injustices, or that there aren't many people suffering in terrible ways in this country, too.
It's simply a reminder that things we may not even consider being grateful for are non-existent in some places in this world: running water, electricity, public education, peace.
So dig deep and ponder gratitude this weekend - and what kind of responsibility it leaves us with on behalf of the less fortunate people of the world.