“… there is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it.”
To say this year has been difficult is an understatement. Never before have we felt so much continual uncertainty. At least I haven’t in my (relatively young) lifetime.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and it’s going to look different this year for most of us. Traveling “home” is risky. Family gatherings pose health concerns, especially for Grandma and Grandpa and Great-Aunt Ida. Suddenly the thought of 17 people touching our salad tongs is enough to make us cancel everything.
But we do not stop being grateful.
The Year 2020
The world population of 2020 has been a resilient people. We’ve rallied together despite the media’s constant reminder of our differing opinions. We’ve helped one another despite our differences. We have appreciated our heroes on the frontline, whether that’s our military members, our healthcare workers, or our grocery store clerks. 2020 has been a year of great difficulty but we have not lost our collective ability to be good humans.
And gratitude is the foundation of that goodness.
No, it’s not been easy. People have lost their jobs, their livelihoods, their sense of security, and even their loved ones. It has been a heated and challenging year in every way. That doesn’t mean we should stop being thankful. We still have a lot of good things going for us. And I believe that if we look at each of our greatest struggles, we can find some goodness.
Playing the Glad Game
Growing up, one of my favorite movies was the Disney classic, Pollyanna. If you’re not familiar with the story, Pollyanna was the orphaned child of a minister and his wife. She grew up in poverty but was taught that you can always find something to be glad about. After the death of her parents, Pollyanna was taken in by her well-off aunt, turning the town upside-down with her always-cheerful, always-thankful disposition.
Enter the Glad Game.
To quote Pollyanna’s explanation by author Eleanor H. Porter, “The game was just to find something about everything to be glad about – no matter what ’twas… You see, when you’re hunting for the glad things, you sort of forget the other kind.”
While people around her were faced with frustrating and difficult circumstances, Pollyanna constantly encouraged them to find something to be glad about. In the end, her own mettle is tested when she finds herself facing her most difficult challenge yet. The very people she has helped to cheer up are then called upon to help her find something to be glad about, as well.
“When you look for the bad, expecting it, you will get it. When you know you will find the good—you will get that….”
The Glad Game in 2020
So friend, applying Pollyanna’s logic, what can you and I be thankful for in 2020? Our readers have been a constant source of encouragement for us here at The Military Mom Collective, so let us encourage you during your hardest trials of 2020.
Let’s take a look at our circumstances and see if we can find something good in them!
- Political Battle During an Election Year– We can be thankful that we live in a nation that offers us the freedom to vote for our governing officials rather than living under a dictatorship regime.
- Worrying About and Missing Our Loved Ones- We can be glad that we have so many wonderful people in our lives that we love and care about.
- Violence & Racial Injustice- We can be thankful that we live in a time when there are good people who no longer idly sit by and allow people to be discriminated against because of the color of their skin or their heritage. We have a long way to go, but we can be thankful that we’ve already come a long way and are still working towards equality.
- The Great Covid-19 Vaccine Debate- We can be appreciative of the science and technology that allows our pharmacists to work on creating a cure.
- Missing Events Such as Graduation or Weddings- Even though we miss the celebrations, we can be glad that we still have important achievements and milestones to celebrate!
An Attitude of Gratitude
It may sound childish and simplistic, but fostering an attitude of gratitude really is a game-changer for our souls. Shifting our attention to the positives in life instead of the negatives releases tension, fear, and unhealthy stress.