“A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.” —Stephen King

The human brain seems to return to a baseline level of happiness, even after major events (the hedonic treadmill). But there’s a big difference between stabilizing and forgetting.

And, more often than not, there’s little difference between forgetting and losing gratitude…or the perspective to be grateful.

Stephen King’s statement extends beyond the writing profession. Having power—in the form of health, wealth, connections, intelligence, specialized skills, or other advantages—can be a useful, good thing. But power is only leverage. It’s what you do with what you’ve learned that counts.

If everything you are is the sum of your experiences, then maybe it’s worth giving thanks to more than just the good. And instead, to recognize the value of the good and the bad, the joyous and the tragic, the just and the unjust, the sweet and the bitter, the easy and the challenging—in sum, all of the experiences that have shaped you to be the unique person you are, uniquely empowered to create, uniquely able to share.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends.