Read Poem: giving thanks, by Dan Brook

over the centuries
indeed the millennia
too little thanks giving
too much thanks taking

I give thanks
to those who give thanks
to those who give care and comfort
to those who give themselves
not to those who take lives and things

I give thanks
to those who make and pursue peace
to those who help and heal
to those who make whole
not to those who practice violence

I give thanks
to those who teach and learn
to those who share and smile
to those who create
not to those who degrade and destroy

I give thanks
to those who build and rebuild
to those who care and construct
to those who make homes
not to those who dispossess and evict

I give thanks
to those who pause and protect
to those who serve and save
to those who give and sustain life
not to those who take it

I give thanks
to those who set free
to those who encourage and emancipate
to those who love and liberate
not to those who oppress and imprison

I give thanks
to those who joke
to those who smile
to those who laugh
not to those who scowl and scorn

I give thanks
to those who sing
to those who dance
to those who create art
not to those who silence and censor

I give thanks
to those who inspire
to those who uplift
to those who help out
not to those who crush down and suppress

I give thanks
perhaps too little thanks
to those who give thanks
to those who give themselves
grateful for them all

Dan Brook teaches sociology at San Jose State University.