Tomorrow is (American) Thanksgiving, a holiday that we celebrate mainly with family and food. As the name of the celebration implies, there is also a tradition of gratitude — reflection on all that we are thankful for and a turning away, however temporarily, from the problems that we face, however large or small.
Because we are a small staff working for a big mission, sometimes expression of gratitude gets lost in the daily work of creating and promoting truly open education. Thanksgiving is an opportunity for us to correct that oversight!
Without further ado, then, we at Saylor Academy are thankful for our many students around the world; for the hundreds of educators who have contributed to this project; for our partners that allow us to achieve so much more than we could do alone; for each other, colleagues near and far who make this whole thing go.
Here are some of the things we will also be thinking about tomorrow (and hopefully every other day, too): our children, family, and friends; our health and the care available for loved ones with health issues; our troops at home and abroad; coming home after a week abroad (and thanks to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, for being outstanding hosts); random and planned acts of kindness; the staff of WeWork Dupont Circle who carry us through the day; opportunities to travel, learn, and expand our worldviews; games that both entertain and inspire; the Internet, with its Bieber GIFs, cat videos, and the vast sum of world knowledge available for free; being able to play a small role in the movement toward greater access to education; celebrating the achievement of earning a degree with friends and family.
We are also incredibly thankful for reminders of why we do what we do; stories like this one:
We exist as a foundation and as a community of learning because we live in a world in which not everyone with the motivation has both the means and the opportunity to learn. For some, the problem is funding, for others, location or time. For a few in our broad community, the problems are rather more dire.
We are proud to be able to support people around the world in their pursuit of knowledge — our students give us hope for a future that works for everyone, bar none. Education is more than just a right: it is a necessity, if we are to achieve the future we so optimistically imagine. Thank you to all who move us and move with us toward our goals!
What are you thankful for today?