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One of my first childhood memories was around 5 years old. I grew up in Northern Virginia and my mom did everything she could to make sure we didn't go without. We had food and clothing and if I decided I HAD to have the new Barbie van, my mom found a way.

It was Thanksgiving and my mom wanted us to give back. My parents took us into DC to serve dinner to families who otherwise wouldn't have a hot meal that day. They were so thankful. Later in life, when I would come home and whine about not making the varsity basketball team or complain that he asked HER to the dance instead of me, my mom would give me the look. That look meant "you really have nothing to complain about, so don't."

I still think about that Thanksgiving. And every time I think about it, I gain more perspective. Now I have my own child and I'm desperate for her to be grateful. She knows how to swipe an iphone and can't even talk yet. She knows what pumpkin loaf is from Starbucks. But will she be grateful? I hope so. I learned when I was 5 that being fortunate isn't about having the guy ask you to the dance but it's about realizing what you DO have and not taking a single second for granted.

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