This afternoon, I have been reminded that in this country, all are not free–for various reasons. The young Asian woman (I know her home country but will not say what it is) giving me a good pedicure and foot massage said yes to my question of whether the salon is closed on Christmas. But open every other day of the year. “We get no benefits,” she said. “If we don’t have a customer all day long, we earn nothing. No joy. There is no joy.” She has 3 children, ages 13-15 months. In that moment, I was keenly aware of my privilege, of the coincidence of being born to parents who were American middle-class people who believed a good education was paramount, & who worked hard to ensure that all 3 of their children have college degrees. Tonight, I gave God thanks for the privileges I have enjoyed, and tipped the young woman very generously. May she know some joy in her hard life.