A season of loss brings an abundance of gratitude


Graphic made by Holly McDonald.

Holly McDonald, Feature Editor

No more this. No more that. No more anything. 

It seems as though the pandemic has taken away almost everything we love to do. And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, it may seem as though there’s nothing left to be thankful for. After all, we can’t go to school, it’s nearly impossible to visit people, and countless activities have been canceled or postponed. 

2020 doesn’t have to be that way. It isn’t the year we just shove deep down hoping to never recall the terrible memories of what the year has brought us.

This year has inspired us to see the world through an entirely new lens, making us more thankful and grateful than ever.

With the abundance of unpleasant news, things aren’t taken lightly these days. People aren’t messing around, nothing is being taken for granted. With the lack of social gatherings, the general population has learned to become more grateful for the time spent with loved ones. 

Research shows that pleasant events in life outnumber their opposite by 3:1. With the pandemic, it may be tougher to enjoy the pleasant moments, but our definition of a “pleasant moment” may have changed. The pandemic has made people more thankful for the little things in life than before.

Countless people have noted they have taken such simple things for granted prior to the pandemic. Face-to-face teaching, not having to worry before giving a hug, concerts, weddings, you name it, we won’t be taking it for granted any longer. The post-pandemic versions of ourselves will savor each moment just a little longer, remembering the times when these actions and gatherings were forbidden. 

This year, rather than being thankful to be able to come together, it is a chance to reflect on past thanksgivings and how thankful we are to have had the opportunity to carry out traditions for years and years.

In a CBS News interview, a man named Gabriel was able to share his positive outlook on thanksgiving through a pandemic. 

“One bad Thanksgiving out of 63 amazing Thanksgivings – that’s pretty good odds. Maybe we should be a little more thankful for what we do have than constantly be complaining about what we don’t have.”

But most importantly, people have learned to be thankful for their health and the health of others this Thanksgiving. 

Unfortunately, the pandemic has cost the lives of so many. It’s given people a more worldly view and a true understanding of how fragile life is. The moments we spend living are meant to be lived to the fullest. No more regrets, no more experiences being taken for granted. We appreciate it all because we have lost.

We don’t get to repeat yesterday, or last month, or even this year. Time continues forward even if we aren’t ready for it. The only thing that keeps us holding on from day to day is the outlook we have and the gratitude for the lives we are currently living in.

So this Thanksgiving we all have a choice. Are you going to spend it upset that it’s one year out of your life you’ve missed out on? Or are you going to spend it expressing an abundance of gratitude and thankfulness that you are here in this very moment? The choice is yours.