Earlier this last week I posted of how I sat at a coffee shop on a Friday night, which was a spot for me before the pandemic hit. I was grateful for the opportunity to be able to have life back to some normalcy. Saturday, our high school had an in-person graduation. It was hot, but it was worth it because last year, students did not receive an in-person graduation. They received a drive-thru graduation. If we learn anything from 2020, it should be gratefulness for the little things in life. Maybe, we can learn from the pandemic not to take for granted those activities that seemed mundane because without them, life really was mundane.
Scroll through any social media site and we can discover everyone complaining about someone or something in the world. Rarely do we discover people being grateful, and yet gratefulness improves our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. According to many scientific studies, gratitude improves our health in many ways. It connects us to our well-being because we are finding the good in life.
Finding the good in the trials of life confuses people. Angry and bitter people scream at those of us finding the silver lining in life’s dark spots on social media, and sometimes in real life. No matter how other people react to situations, it is our own decisions to find the good in life or the evil. What you look for is what you will find. Throughout the entirety of the pandemic, I had to find small things in life for which to be grateful. Not only did I maintain strong mental and emotional health, but I also gained spiritual health. Our faith grows when we decide to be grateful as we recognize what God is doing in our lives, and we refuse to focus on what is not happening.
Jesus tells the story of the ten lepers that he healed and how only one came back to thank him. That one leper was not only healed physically, but also emotionally and spiritually too. We have so much for which we can be grateful. It’s time we begin being thankful for all things in our lives.
On Tuesday, June 15th, Southern California will open and mandates for lockdowns for the pandemic will end. This day has been a long time coming, and it is not just the life of being normal, but not taking for granted of those activities we once enjoyed that will be reintroduced into our lives. Whether it is going to a movie theater, meeting a friend in a coffeeshop, going to a library, eating in a busy restaurant, going to a sports event, or an amusement park, or even church, we all can have a greater appreciation for those activities in our lives.
It is our choice. We can complain about 2020. We can degrade the leaders and politicians. For our health and the health of those around us, we can show appreciation for the life that we have and the life which we have gained after the pandemic. It is up to us to choose to be grateful. It is a choice that is healthy. A new day is here. May we choose to wake up each day grateful for the new day for which we get to live and discover how we can live each day to serve others. It’s so much better than complaining. Trust me, as I have walked the path of a complainer or better known as a whiner. Open up to the beauty in the world around you. Be careful. Once you see the beauty, you will never see that of which you complained.