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OPINION | Celebrating Thanksgiving 2020

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EVERY year typically encompasses a few defining moments, but during the past 11 months, numerous world-changing, paradigm-shifting developments that are unimaginable have happened.

But there’s no time for the weary. With a scourge still raging and waves of social change swelling around the globe, numerous catastrophes are still happening in different countries. And there is still one month left to complete the whole history of 2020.

Thanksgiving 2020 is a far cry from the past few years. Many of us have weathered many difficulties, but being grateful this year, especially amid a pandemic, may not always be easy. Think of what to be grateful for despite all the mishaps that have happened in the past few months. Many people have suffered great losses because of the pandemic. Covid-19 is not the only onslaught that we have for this year. Last December 2019, Australia faced a devastating wildfire season that burned 47 million acres, displaced thousands of people, and killed at least 34. In Beirut, a massive explosion on August 4 killed 190 people. In mid-August, deadly wildfires erupted from California to Washington state, burned millions of acres, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. The Philippines has recently been stricken by devastating calamities which  have caused starvation, submerged houses  because of the massive floods, and killed people.

Those who are in these situations may be on the brink of losing hope. This year’s experiences  are emblematic of life, but surviving is our biggest blessing.

How can we be thankful despite the adversities happening around us? There are still many things that we can be thankful for. If you are still breathing at this moment, that can be your greatest blessing. Being grateful is the best way to motivate oneself to embrace and enjoy each day of our lives. Irrespective of the circumstances we find ourselves in, we must find things to be grateful for, even the mundane things of life. That is how we draw the flow of positive energy our way and receive the good things in life.

According to Harvard Medical School, “With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”

We have to appreciate what we already have rather than think of what we don’t have. Gratitude can help us refocus our mind so we can be healthy and thriving. Being thankful is an excellent springboard to discovering the surge of beautiful hearts in our community and society. The year 2020 is about survival. We should set aside complaining and start being grateful and be responsible for what we have. May we celebrate Thanksgiving every day.

The writer is a teacher at Northern Marianas International School.

 

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