In a year that’s been as difficult as 2020 has been for many people, it might be difficult to maintain an attitude of thankfulness.
The coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing restrictions and protocols instituted in response to it have caused a wide range of problems for all of us to some degree. For many folks, hope has been in short supply.
However, over the course of the last eight months or so, I’ve been able to draw strength, courage, and, yes, hope from observing the actions and listening to the words of neighbors and strangers alike.
I’ve seen a person I know make a significant — and anonymous — financial donation to help out a neighbor in need. He doesn’t expect to be repaid. Ever.
I’ve seen people rally together to make much-needed repairs to the home of a family whose father lost his job when the pandemic emerged in the spring. Yet another donation of time, talent, and resources for which no repayment is expected.
I’ve heard the story of an elderly lady who makes cookies for folks in her neighborhood and drops off platefuls of the sweet deliciousness on their doorsteps. A smile and a wave from her neighbors is her reward.
Much closer to home, I’ve got a good friend who checks in on me and my family every day. He texts, ”How are you guys doing? Hope everyone is well. We love you guys.”
It’s a simple, intentional act of kindness and concern, and I deeply appreciate it and — somewhat selfishly — look forward it.
What are you thankful for?
Some folks weighed in on social media when I asked for responses to that question.
Melissa Miller: “I’m so very thankful that a silver lining of this year was getting to spend some wonderful uninterrupted quality family time with my husband and
children at home.”
Chris Cozza: “My family, my health, my church family, our country. Though none are without a few imperfections, I am very grateful. God has blessed me.”
Colleen McDuffie: “Thankful for old friends.”
Shelly Rheinfrank: “Thankful for healthy family and friends and praying that continues. I’m not thankful for this virus, but it’s definitely taught me to not take things for granted — hugs from family and friends, going out to eat without worrying, attending sporting events — just to name a few. So it’s given me time to reflect on the things that are really important to me.”
Chris Peria: “I’m thankful for family and friends. They have always been important. But this year really puts a priority on what is important in life.”
Thankfulness is good medicine
As much as I hate to admit this, a few months ago I was in the middle of a pity party. A so-called adult feeling sorry for myself over an alleged wrong done to me.
Surfing around YouTube one day, I came across what turned out to be an inspirational and educational video. The speaker in the video was touting the many benefits of cultivating and maintaining a thankful attitude.
He said an attitude of thankfulness can improve relationships, create contentment, keep us healthy, cultivate humility, produce positivity, promote generosity, and, most notably to me, display the character of God. Even if you’re not religious, that’s still a pretty good list of benefits and probably worth taking the time to pursue.
Have a happy Thanksgiving.