News / USA

Everyday New Yorkers Express Gratitude in 2013

Hector Panama, a
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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More