What 2020 Has Reminded Us to Be Thankful For
By: Tajiya Holland
Here we go again, the time we reflect on what we are thankful for, but why do we wait until now to do so? When times are worrisome, showing gratitude can be challenging. Many of us have found ourselves in great distress during happenings this year. The bushfires in Australia, the west coast wildfires in the US, the Beirut explosion, the passings of famous athletes, actors, civil rights icons, and political figures, unjust murders of Black people in the US, and unfortunately, much more all while undergoing the COVID -19 pandemic. The pandemic has been brutal for many as some have lost loved ones or their jobs.
Though the impact is unfavorable and seems to be negative rather than positive, 2020 reminds us that being thankful should be demonstrated all year round. Whether you have witnessed or experienced these troubling times and circumstances, here are some forward-looking takeaways.
Communication technology is readily available but overlooked and underrated. Knowing what’s happening in the current time, across the globe, has not always been prevalent. We rely on this heavily as we strive to stay informed through the news reportings and infographic threads on social media. It gives us an outlet to escape through podcasts, movies, tv, music, and more. Zoom dinner parties and sharing banana bread recipes are a couple of ways we connect with others to create a sense of comfort and happiness amongst the chaos. Communication technology helps to shape global unity.
Nature keeps us alive. Back in spring, while some countries underwent lockdown, we saw mother earth take a deep breath! Air quality increased, skies were clear, and we learned to appreciate our naturally provided surroundings more. The wildfires that occur globally only push us further to develop and implement ways to give back, assist, and support nature and its wildlife. Nature grants us what we need for our physical and mental health.
Some may describe their life as mundane, but waking up to live out another day is a gift. We didn’t fully recognize though life entailed going to work or school daily, there was much more to it. Dining out, visiting relatives, going to the movies, and day trips, we miss the irregularities that came along. Life each day presents another chance to fulfill a duty or a dream.
We give the traditional response to “what are you thankful for?” with “my family and friends.” People as a collective is what keeps the world going. Healthcare workers and first responders selflessly care for others while putting themselves at risk. Others continue to work to provide the public with household items, groceries, and transportation. Activists maintain efforts to promote environmental, political, social, and economic reform. Whether it’s a neighbor down the street or a friendly face across the globe, people are lending hands to one another. Certainly, loved ones we cherish as we go through difficult and joyous times together. Everyone contributes their perspective, which others can learn from, while everyone has something to offer to make a difference.
Time is precious. What you do, learn, think, say, and release in the moments of now is what matters. Time allows you to continue meeting new people, trying different recipes, immersing yourself in others’ cultures, shaping a future for yourself and your kin, following your dreams, practicing gratitude, creating a better tomorrow, and innumerable things. The only catch with time is, it is not guaranteed.
Although the storm of 2020 changes paths, strengths, and speed for everyone, we all weather its pressure one way or another. While undesirable circumstances can cloud judgment, there is always at least one thing to be appreciative of, and the above name a few. As you reflect, it becomes quite clear that these are things to be thankful for every day.