IF Australians want a reason to be thankful as this new year begins, we need only look to the UK and US.
In America, a political crisis appears to be reaching its crescendo as the nation prepares for the changeover to a new president in less than a fortnight's time.
The images from Washington this week won't soon be forgotten as more material was provided for future American political historians to sort through.
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Meanwhile, the country's coronavirus death toll continues to mount and the economic fallout inflicted has yet to find a floor.
In the UK, the hospitals have been filling up and a third lockdown is under way in a country that seems never to have settled on a coherent COVID strategy.
Oh, and there were those last dramatic days of the acrimonious exit from the European Union as the clock ticked down to New Year's Day.
In our state of NSW, meanwhile, one of the biggest coronavirus stories of the past week was whether or not there should be a crowd - and of what size - at the SCG for the third cricket Test.
That's not to downplay the seriousness of that question - as this newspaper said earlier in the week, letting cricket fans into the ground provides enormous risks without a commensurate reward for the NSW Government.
But, compared with two of the countries with which we most often associate ourselves, we remain an island of relative calm here in our spot in the southern hemisphere.
Unemployment is still well below its predicted high, our health system is healthy and a vaccine rollout is on the horizon.
As 2021 begins, we have plenty of reasons to be concerned and challenges galore to face (not the least of which is the ever-changing state border situation), but plenty of reasons to be grateful as well.
And it never hurts to be grateful.