"I read of a person who had formed the habit of writing 'Thank you' on the lower left corner of every check he wrote. When he paid his electric bill or his phone bill, he would write 'Thank you' to express his gratitude to the companies that made those services available to him at the press of a button. Even when he paid his taxes, he would write 'Thank you' on the check as a way of reminding himself (he didn't think the Internal Revenue Service would notice it) that his taxes were the price he willingly paid for living in the United States with all of its benefits. . . .

Each night as I prepare for bed, I put drops in my eyes to fend off the threat of glaucoma that would rob me of my sight and take from me the pleasure of reading. Each morning at breakfast, I take a pill to control my blood pressure, and each evening at dinner I take another to lower my cholesterol level. But instead of lamenting the ailments that come with growing older, instead of wishing I were as young and fit as I once was, I take my medicine with a prayer of thanks that modern science has found ways to help me cope with these ailments. I think of all my ancestors who didn't live long enough to develop the complications of old age, and did not have pills to take when they did."