Are you grateful? Do you give thanks only when you think things are good? Are you waiting to be given what you want in order to be thankful? In these pandemic times, it may be counterintuitive to give thanks. It may seem like there is much more to complain about, the audacity of death and uncertainty to interrupt our daily lives of gratification.
But ironically, it is often only through the slowing due to change, the contrast elevated due to rupturing misfortune that we come to appreciate the necessity of being thankful. This pandemic, in its disruption, has asked us to slow down and take stock of our true lives. What are we living for? How are we coping? The stilling of our lives is exactly when we are forced to ask if we are happy, and, by extension, why, for what reason?
Thanksgiving is not an occasional endeavor but an attitude. To be thankful, one must be grateful, by paying daily homage to the divine in everything. True thankfulness, true gratitude is refined by an intimate knowledge of humbling, hard times like the period we are in. We are forced to slow down and pay attention to what gives us meaning and hope. Again, it may seem as if being happy and stable should proceed thankfulness; but just maybe, thankfulness should come first.