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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Transitions – Gratitude during a pandemic

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Roman statesman Cicero wrote that “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” 

That’s difficult to embrace during this time, but not impossible. Every morning I try to wake up with gratitude because I live in a house and a community where I have space to practice social distancing.  I don’t live in a high-rise and have to wait hours to be on an empty elevator, as some do now. Our children have media that allow them to continue their schooling, they are fed, and have driveways to practice their “hoops.”

I know for many millions gratitude is more a theoretical concept than a hard idea to embrace. Gratitude protects when you’re out-of-work; when you can’t visit relatives; when you’re suffering pain because of delayed surgeries; or the very worst, losing love ones to the virus.

Most of us in Naperville are not like citizens in NYC, where one out of five knows of someone who has died. 

We as a nation have faced such challenges before on a bigger scale, most recently during WWII when loved ones were gone for years fighting fascism. We were physically distant with the only way to communicate by post.

I read a letter a volunteer wrote to my mother-in-law from a hospital in Europe after my father-in-law lost his leg. No phone calls or Skype then. Our parents and grandparents survived and were stronger for it. I have faith that this will be the case after we have survived this pandemic. Why? Because their faith shows us the way.  

Former President Bush expressed it most poignantly in his recent message of hope that can be found on YouTube.

Gratitude has to be our shield of protection against the sadness, depression, and political cynicism that are more harmful than a virus. It can kill the spirit even if the body survives.

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Barbara Blomquist
Barbara Blomquist
Barbara Blomquist is a Naperville resident, wife, mother, quilter, and screenwriter. Contact her at BWBLomquist@aol.com.
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