November Thanks #6 | 3 Gifts Government

A thirty-day exercise in pausing, reflecting, appreciating, and giving thanks for simple things.

This of all weeks of the year is a challenging week to think of government in a nonpolitical way but I am determined to do exactly that. Government provides for us in many ways, but there are three ideas that came to my mind.

Going to the moon and spending time in space brought us some interesting technologies through NASA and its astronauts. Satellite TV is a spin-off of space exploration, as is the GPS you now use every day without thinking about it. Another idea that came from working in space is those handy ear thermometers. And smoke detectors were developed specifically for use in spacecraft, then later applied to home use. There really are hundreds of products that have resulted from NASA’s study of space.

Government provides us with a diverse team of emergency personnel, including EMTs, police officers, firefighters, and active duty and reserve soldiers. They are the ones who go running into a building on fire, or confront someone with a gun when everyone else ducks and covers. They even help deliver babies (speaking from experience). If you don’t believe emergency personnel are a gift, then you’ve been lucky enough to never need them.

I have had a lifelong love affair with books. From when I first learned to read, I have always had a book in hand or nearby. Public libraries are an exceptional gift, making new worlds available to anyone willing to read. Most public libraries today also have movies and computer games for people to borrow, computers available for public use, and classes and events to entertain.

The greatest gift is a passion for reading.
–Elizabeth Hardwick


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