Thanksgiving is dreadful, but giving thanks? It's awesome
I'm thankful for Chance the Rapper, one of the few high-profile Chicagoans who seems to truly care about the youth in our city. His SocialWorks organization has raised more than $2 million for Chicago Public Schools this year.
In September, Chance said: "Quality education for public schools is the most important investment a community can make." He gets it. We need more like him.
I'm thankful for anyone out there who has contemplated suicide but found a way to not take that step. Suicide rates have been rising, reaching a 30-year high last year, and an average of 121 people a day take their lives. This is a crisis we have to address, and I'm thankful for the people and organizations out there helping humans recognize their own worth each day.
I have a friend who struggles with depression and has attempted suicide, and I'll say to everyone out there what I said to him: The world is a far better place with you in it -- always.
I'm thankful for journalists who are doing their jobs despite relentless attacks on the free press coming from the highest office in the land.
I'm thankful to the many Americans out there who have not accepted President Donald Trump's behavior as normal. I'm thankful for those who remain shocked, on an almost daily basis, at Trump's degradation of the basic norms of decency that come with the office he holds.
I'm thankful for the people who call their elected representatives to let their voices be heard. I'm thankful to the lawmakers who actually listen.
I'm thankful for dogs. They're a beacon of light in dark times. (Cats are good too. Please don't send mean emails, cat people.)
I'm also thankful for cute animal videos on the internet, without which most of us would likely have gone mad already.
I'm thankful for zombies. Whether in "The Walking Dead" or "Fear the Walking Dead" or "The Walking Dead Christmas Special" (I may have made that last one up), I love zombies and always will. Perhaps it's because I relate to them on an intellectual level. Or maybe it's because I respect their singular focus on eating slow-moving people. Doesn't matter. More zombies, please.
Finally, I'm thankful to everyone who reads this column. When I wrote about my dad dying over the summer, the response from readers was humbling and overwhelming. It helped, and I'm truly honored to have that connection.
Whether you like me or want to throw hot garbage at me, we are all -- one way or another -- in this together.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts.
And I wish you all a safe, happy and staggeringly wonderful Thanksgiving.
(Rex Huppke is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and a noted hypocrisy enthusiast. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @RexHuppke.)