Sadly, the proverbial pajama boys of the world—much like the sprawling, increasingly unworkable Affordable Care Act—are now an insistent, annoying part of American life. It’s not hard to see why. The more space the government takes up in our lives—in terms of health care decisions, educational opportunities, small business regulations, or who can say what and when—the more people are going to fight about it. If the government were less consequential in people’s day-to-day doings, the corresponding politics would evoke far less passion and conflict.

But there’s something else going on here: Politics, for many, has morphed into personal identity. Just look at colleges today, where opposing political sentiments or offensive statements can make students collapse like panicked, half-hearted origami. And hey, it makes sense: If politics is the be-all and end-all of life, and you honestly believe we can build a utopia buttressed by bureaucratic control, your personal worth, by logical extension, is ultimately based upon your political beliefs. No offense is too petty to let stand; no Thanksgiving dinner can be left in peace.

This week, let’s give thanks for America’s remaining respites from the politicized life. They may be endangered, but they’re out there—and if we’re smart, we’ll work to expand them. They’re often the best places, after all, to count our many blessings.