If 2020 was a person, what might you say to him?
“Get out and never come back!”
“You need to get some serious help!”
“Don’t take this personally, but I hate your guts.”
Okay, so 2020 may not go down as anybody’s most favorite year ever, right?
But…however, consider this. In the “silver linings” department, 2020 will certainly be remembered as a year we learned a whole lot about ourselves, about the world we live in, and most especially, we’ve learned how many good people there are in the world. Like, tons!
- Truck drivers
- Grocery store shelf stockers
- Dentists and everyone working in a dental practice
- Restaurant owners & employees
- Funeral home staff
- Package delivery people
- Poll workers
- Essential workers of a hundred different kind
No doubt we’re missing many that should also be included here, but the point is this: People are good. In hard times, good people rise to the top. In 2020, millions and millions of good people have shown their true colors. This should give us great hope as we look forward to a new year and better and brighter days.
Yes, we’ve been through an unprecedented and almost universal hard moment. Some have been profoundly and painfully impacted with serious and debilitating illness. Some have lost a loved one (or several.) Others have felt great financial impact, including the loss of income and the closure of businesses they worked so hard to build. To all who have been hurt in any way by this pandemic, we express our sincere and heartfelt sorrow. We grieve with you. We hope and pray for the light to shine once again in your life.
Here’s a simple thought. Regardless of what 2020 has meant for you and your loved ones, take time to count your blessings. Why? What possible benefit could there be from an attempt to find anything good in a year that has been not good in so many ways?
Here’s what religious leader Russell M. Nelson recently shared about the power of showing gratitude:
“Over my nine and a half decades of life, I have concluded that counting our blessings is far better than recounting our problems.”
“No matter our situation, showing gratitude for our privileges is a fast-acting and long-lasting…prescription. Does gratitude spare us from sorrow, sadness, grief and pain? No, but it does soothe our feelings. It provides us with a greater perspective on the very purpose and joy of life.”
The power of gratitude has been well-documented. There are many physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits that come from taking time to give thanks. If you are feeling the weight of the world, perhaps this prescription will be just what the doctor ordered. Here are some simple steps anyone can try to increase their “gratitude IQ”:
- For the next seven days, write at least one “thank you” note to someone and either mail or hand-deliver it to them.
- At least once each week, spend 10-15 minutes in a notebook or gratitude journal, making a list of people and things you are grateful for.
- Set a goal to say “thank you” to everyone that does something for you. Try doing this for at least one day.
- Make a list of everything and everyone you can think of in 2020 that has blessed your life. You might be surprised at how long your list will be.
To be clear, no one is saying you have to LOVE everything (or even anything) about the past 12 months. It’s just been gosh darn hard, and it’s perfectly okay to not be okay about that. But in the season of the year when we all reflect on those we love and the many reasons we have to be grateful, taking time to give thanks can bring light in the darkest time of the year and quiet joy in the realization that life is still good. People are still good.
If we look for it, there is still so much to be grateful for.