News / USA

Everyday New Yorkers Express Gratitude in 2013

Hector Panama, a "Diamond District" bodyguard who emigrated to New York 40 years ago, feels blessed to be in the "city of his dreams." (Adam Phillips/VOA)
Hector Panama, a "Diamond District" bodyguard who emigrated to New York 40 years ago, feels blessed to be in the "city of his dreams." (Adam Phillips/VOA)
Adam Phillips
Every year at Thanksgiving, Americans have a formal opportunity to consider the blessings they enjoy, and to express gratitude for all they have received over the past year.  A random sampling of New Yorkers were asked what they feel grateful for.

It’s a cold and drizzly day in New York City, and the subway is running late.  But for this patient patron, a sense of Thanksgiving gratitude warms the morning.

“I’m grateful that every day you wake up and every day you get to experience new things and live your life and be able to do it in the way you want.  The second my eyes open, I’m a happy guy," said a subway patron.

Tourist Joanne Jett is grateful she opened her eyes in New York City this morning.

“I am from Halifax, Nova Scotia [Canada] and I am here going to Broadway theater.  And I can’t believe I’m doing it.  Because I never dreamed I would," said Jett.

Hector Panama, a burly bodyguard, has been in New York for 40 years.  He is thankful for an imposing physique that allowed him to get a good job in the city of his dreams.

“Gratitude is when you feel good about what you received and what you’re getting.  And blessing is when you are satisfied with everything.  And I am so happy to be here.  It’s the best.  Why go to other places?  You got everything here.  I love people.  That’s the bottom line," said Panama.

Marvin Deliz, who loads trucks for a living, is thankful he can provide for his family, and is grateful for the time he will spend with them over the Thanksgving holiday. (Adam Phillips/VOA)Marvin Deliz, who loads trucks for a living, is thankful he can provide for his family, and is grateful for the time he will spend with them over the Thanksgving holiday. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
x
Marvin Deliz, who loads trucks for a living, is thankful he can provide for his family, and is grateful for the time he will spend with them over the Thanksgving holiday. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
Marvin Deliz, who loads trucks for a living, is thankful he can provide for his family, and is grateful for the time he will spend with them over the Thanksgving holiday. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
Nearby, Martin Deliz is hard at work loading trucks.

“Nobody likes to work.  But I thank God I am able to provide.  Everybody is doing well, so I am happy for that and for these upcoming holidays I can’t wait to spend some time with them," said Deliz.

In a cafe down the street, America Trinidad takes active joy in her good fortune.

“I have been blessed with so many good things.  My family for one, my husband, my grandson, my three girls, and then the extended family, they are all just around and I am very blessed.  I had a not so great childhood. I think God made it up [to us] as adults.  I had a great career.  I just retired.  I loved it.  So I am so grateful for that," said Trinidad.

Her adult daughter Lenina beams appreciatively at her.  Lenina says she wants to pass on the value of gratitude to her own daughter.

“We do talk about being gracious and being grateful for the things we have and the good fortune that we have, and to be grateful sometimes for the ‘not good fortune’ because it teaches us to appreciate when it’s good.  It gives us strength to carry on and really appreciate and live in the moments that are good," said Lenina.

Hannah Dubner, a young actor, has a similar attitude.

“For me, gratitude is remembering what I’m thankful for, not when it’s easy but when it’s a difficult moment.  What I’m grateful for [is] that there are people in my life who remind who I am sometimes when I forget and remind me to believe when I don’t believe.  Because on the days when I do believe, I don’t need anyone to help me, and I feel unstoppable.  And those are also the days when I try to remember to be grateful, that the highs are going to be super high and the lows are going to be very low, and they all have a place in this world," said Dubner.

Yoni Davidov, a jeweler, says that his Jewish faith teaches that life's challenges, as well as life's pleasures and joys are equally gifts from God. (Adam Phillips/VOA)Yoni Davidov, a jeweler, says that his Jewish faith teaches that life's challenges, as well as life's pleasures and joys are equally gifts from God. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
x
Yoni Davidov, a jeweler, says that his Jewish faith teaches that life's challenges, as well as life's pleasures and joys are equally gifts from God. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
Yoni Davidov, a jeweler, says that his Jewish faith teaches that life's challenges, as well as life's pleasures and joys are equally gifts from God. (Adam Phillips/VOA)
Yoni Davidov, an orthodox Jewish jeweler in Manhattan’s “Diamond District,” echoes that idea.  

“The same way you thank God for the good, you should also thank him for the bad.  We don’t realize all the calculations of everything that God does for us," said Davidov. "At the end of the day it’s all for the good.  We just have to take it day by day and that’s it.  ‘Thank you that I breathe.’  ‘Thank you that it’s not worse!’”

Some grateful thoughts - and even a bit of philosophy - for Americans to digest along with all the turkey and trimmings this Thanksgiving Thursday 2013.​

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid