First and foremost, for my family. My wife, my kids, my brother and his family, my father, aunts, uncles, cousins. I am blessed with a large network of loving, caring, thoughtful and brilliant relatives. Few are as rich as I am in such blessings.
For my friends and my artistic partners. Rare indeed is the man who is as supported and encouraged in their endeavors as I have been by those close to me. I value their warmth, their insight, their criticism, their humor and their love. That's the secret of life, you know. No kidding. You want to be truly happy? Surround yourself with good people. I have and I am.
For my career- of which I often complain but rarely celebrate- I am most thankful. That I have lived into my fifth decade and am still able to work in the arts is something for which I should be far more appreciative than I am.
For my city, my community, my neighborhood and, of course, my country. The conventional wisdom is that Republicans have a lock on patriotism. Don't you believe it. I dearly love America and I am most grateful that I am able to live where I live, say what I want to say and that, just a few weeks ago, I was able to cast my vote, make my voice heard and help guide my country in a new direction. We are unique, we Americans, in our ability to reform our government every four years. So a tip of the hat to Old Glory, eh?
Which brings me to our new Commander-in-Chief. Let's be honest: we can't expect miracles. Already the expectations are too high, our hopes raised to unrealistic heights, our dreams of a utopian tomorrow far too rosey. You know what? Who cares? We've got a new President taking over inside of two months and that, my friends, has been a long, long time coming. For that, I am more thankful than I can properly express.
Finally a few words: As we all know, these are dire economic times for many people. Unemployment and poverty are on the rise. The very financial structure of our nation appears to be collapsing. Americans with catastrophic health problems are unable to find adequate medical care. Soldiers returning from our conflicts overseas are hampered by greivous wounds, mental illness, difficulty adjusting to civilian life and an uncooperative government that- while duty-bound to care for them- often neglects it's duty. Many of our fellow citizens are lonely, hungry and suffering today.
You know this without my telling you. And you probably already chip in what you can to whatever charities you support. But on this day, if you would, please consider doing something extra. Write an extra check, throw a ten in the Salvation Army bucket instead of a one, donate a coat, something.
Your dinner tomorrow night will taste that much better. Really.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody.