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COVID-19

Let’s Get Back to Grace and Gratitude This Thanksgiving

Living through a pandemic is rough. It’s an experience that we are all wanting to come to an end. It has caused businesses to shut their doors due to the lack of customers. Schools have had to close again due to rising COVID-19 cases in the community. Hospital workers are exhausted and strained by the demands of caring for the COVID-19 patients in addition to the normal cases they see. People we loved have died. Not being able to say goodbye in-person or attend a funeral is another toll. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Each person’s situation is different and, when under so much stress, it can be easy to have tunnel vision and lash out at others. But this week is an opportunity to refocus.

Whether a person celebrates Thanksgiving or not, showing gratitude and giving grace is a place we all need to return to during this pandemic. It is hard for all of us. Lashing out at others during this time does not help.

It is time to take a moment and tell anyone who has been helpful or offered support—"Thank you." Not only should adults do this, but children can participate, too. Giving thanks does not automatically erase the pain and burdens caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but it allows people to step back and take a moment away from those hardships. One aspect of this pandemic has been illuminated: tomorrow is not promised. 

People who were healthy are succumbing to COVID-19. Making it to January 1, 2021 will surely be a blessing. Knowing these facts, it is important to show gratitude and give grace because we truly do not know what is happening in other people’s lives and what impact it has on them and their behavior.

Thank your family, friends, teachers, first responders, community members, and anyone who has made a difference in your life. It might even be helpful to thank at least one person a day moving forward as we all move day by day toward the end of 2020.

It can be easy to fall into a negative mindset, so let’s shift to giving thanks instead.

Shawnta S. Barnes

Shawnta is a married mother of identical twin boys. As an Indiana native, she attended school in two Indianapolis school districts; she attended Indianapolis Public Schools for two years and completed her education in Lawrence Township Schools. Her sons entered kindergarten during the 2016-2017 school year, so she not only navigates Indianapolis schools from the educator's perspective but also ...

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