Richmond Times-Dispatch

During pandemic, take time to count blessings



Marsha Mercer’s recent opinion piece, “No thanks? Being grateful this Thanksgivi­ng,” left me feeling ... well, grateful. Her message is familiar but one that now has an unpreceden­ted slant as we approach the firstever COVID-19 Thanksgivi­ng. Agreed, we tend to focus more on what we have lost during this pandemic, but finding ways to count our blessings can give us that heartfelt boost to our mental immunity.

As Mercer took us back in time, it became “puddingpro­of” clear that difficulti­es can be overcome and better days can await us at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Hard times can bring about the greatest of changes, causing us to pause while taking inventory of what is most important in our lives. To have a warm home, enough food to eat, a loving family and even a feisty terrier with which to share the couch is so much more than many ever could dream of in other parts of the world, or even in some of our own communitie­s.

Maybe gratitude can return our focus to the reasons behind the holiday seasons, setting aside commercial­ism and egocentric mentality to get back to our roots. What’s behind the true meaning of our family traditions and values? Might it be

gratitude? Gratitude for former and current heroes, gratitude for our religious beliefs, gratitude for all good things under the sun. I say “Yes, thanks” as we sit about our tables today, grasping gloved hands, turning on Zoom and taking time to share some gratitude — before passing that broccoli casserole. LEIGH DEFREITAS.


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