Grat·i·tude: Quality of being thankful; Readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness

It is a known fact that things are relative. Joy can best be perceived and appreciated when there has been sorrow. It is in these unprecedented and surreal times of social distancing due to COVID-19, that as a society and members of human race, we can have the time, means and responsibility of reflection. We know that the loss of human life, atrocities and the devastation of this respiratory pandemic have gone beyond the human imagination. The social, familial, psychological, physical, spiritual and economic ramifications are incalculable. I have found myself trying to make sense of the insensible. What has been helpful ironically, is to remind myself daily of the less glaring and yet powerful blessings. I am in awe and deeply grateful for:

  • The human race pulling together, defying borders, nationalism and even patriotism 
  • Our farming community, food service and grocery store employees, restaurant employees, post office, delivery crew and ... who have heroically stayed the course so as to make our lives a billion times easier daily
  • Our paramedics, police force, firefighters, nurses, healthcare workers who are showing us what selflessness and sacrifice truly look like
  • The teachers who show us how integral to our youths’ transformation they have been all along 
  • Parents who finally get to be present and mindful and have a relationship beyond their wildest dreams with their children
  • Pets including my dog, who got me to spend more time appreciating her loyalty and companionship 
  • Long overdue auto correction(?) of some extremes including the economic markets, housing bubbles, the immeasurable divide between the have (top 1%) and have nots
  • Our mother earth finally getting our attention, reminding us that nothing extreme is sustainable, including our destructive patterns which may have in a karmic fashion lead us to our own unhealth perhaps

I know that my mind’s ability to retrieve and focus on the negative is lightyears as far as speed is concerned, and yet the ability to focus on positives and blessings feels like an old-fashioned AOL Dialup. It is therefore crucial and a daily necessity to remind myself that I can

  1. Choose to stay in gratitude no matter the obstacles
  2. Find ways of giving back to society and my loved ones
  3. And to give back by getting into action 

We don’t know if and when a vaccine for COVID-19 will enter the picture and we know that in the absence of social distancing at this crucial time we will accelerate the transmission rate. Let’s hope that by improving our immunity through physical, mental and social self care, we can mitigate the strain on ourselves, loved ones, the healthcare system and humanity. Although things are beyond our knowledge and control at this time, we have agency when we choose to have an attitude of gratitude so as help ourselves as well as others.

Photo by Brigitte Tohm 

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