I'm thankful for our sump pump, which has been working steadily the last few days to cope with our heavy rainfall and melting snow. But even as I say that, I think it sounds very selfish because of what has just happened in Japan with the terrible earthquake and tsunami. It seems petty (some would even say obscene) to be thankful for something that really prevents a relatively small problem from occurring, when so many thousands have lost everything, even their lives.
How do we wrap our minds around this whole issue of being grateful for the good in our lives while others suffer? Some would say we can't be thankful (to God, "the universe," or whatever) for the good without also assigning blame for the bad. I don't really agree with that. I don't think true gratitude is ever the wrong response to the blessings you enjoy. If you are ungrateful about what you have (much or little), then you will cling to it, control it, and hoard it -- after all, if there's no one to thank, then you did it all yourself and it's all up to you. I think gratitude helps you live in the moment, hold things lightly ... AND give to others in need.