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Gratitude in the Wake of Crisis

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” - Melody Beattie

Raising your gratitude game during these unsettling times can be tricky. Recognizing the good while I idly sit at my desk for hours each day, wearing away my eyes from screen usage, proves to be a difficult task. We now seemingly live through our screens, almost turning our society into a real life rendition of Black Mirror

For my fellow Gen-Z’s, most of us have forced ourselves to settle into a routine. We tell ourselves to keep pushing on, repeat in our minds the constant, “It’s going to get better,” or, “It could be worse.” Which is true, but also not. 

When looking around at our world today, we notice the utter chaos. The chaos that we are left with as our future - what we are now faced with ‘cleaning up.’ As Chip Conely expresses, we must ride the wave and continue to embrace our life circumstances, even when especially challenging. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, this is really hard to do in the year 2020. 

Although we have been forced to handle the global reset button, this underlying time of solace has also provided our generation the time to focus on what is good, and to create new ideas on how we want the world to look like. As our dear Shelley states - To engage, rather than enrage. 

We must stay informed, practice self-care, and be kind in a world that may seem completely and utterly overwhelming. As Nancy Davis Kho reveals - we can choose to live our lives in the moment - to find humour in the unexpected. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that” - a testament of hope from MLK Jr. 

Even when I am pinned to my chair with anxiety and frustration about the ugliness of the world, I think of the beauty within my life - and gratitude gives me back my power. I am reminded of how thankful I am for an intellectual, strong-willed mother; the uncomfortable and long-overdue conversations sparked by social justice challenges; the colorful art from Brooklyn that now adorns my walls; the trees, animals, and mountains I am surrounded by; and especially - for the family and friends I am still able to laugh with over FaceTime. 

It’s human nature to focus on things that are broken, rather than appreciating what’s working. Gratitude shortens our freak outs, and allows our attention to focus on what matters most: 

What we have is enough. What are you grateful for?

Taylor Abrams is a college senior and daughter of Michela O'Connor Abrams.

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