Thanksgiving is always a great time of the year. A four-day weekend, time with family and friends, unlimited amounts of food and an all-around feeling of contentment and gratitude. It’s times like this when I realize how lucky I am to be where I’m at in my life. Growing up in a family who never pushed me to pursue higher education, I didn’t even plan on going to college. The only reason I even went was because I got a full scholarship and at the time it seemed like a better option than working. It’s funny how things turn out. Now I find myself getting an MBA from a top-tier program, networking with prominent business leaders and thought leaders, interviewing with companies that I would never dream I could work at, and teaching undergraduate students about business. An MBA isn’t just an advanced degree, to me it has been a doorway to a completely better life.

I sometimes hear some of my classmates complain about the lack of jobs or how hard classes are, and it makes me chuckle a little. Our lives are awesome. We have three day weekends every week, we’re in a culturally rich environment with students from all over world, every day we get to exercise our brains and learn new concepts, and we go to an MBA program that emphasizes cultural fit, leadership, and personal development. Every day when I walk into Gerlach, I’m always greeted by smiling faces with huge personalities.

Life is good. Really, really good.

80% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 a day. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their name. 25,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. And we complain when we can’t find a parking spot close to Gerlach and we have to walk an extra 2 minutes from the next lot over.

Most Americans today live better than the kings of ancient history. Hundreds of millionaires in this country were born dirt poor, but through hard work and discipline made something great out of their lives. When your mother told you repeatedly, “you can be anything you want to be,” she was telling the truth.

I’m thankful for so much, and I was going to write the obvious blog about everything I’m thankful for, but that would take all afternoon. A picture tells a thousand words, so here are some things that I’m thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day.