Pandemic Positivity: An Attitude of Gratitude
Posted on April 7, 2020
Rabbi Meir taught that we should recite 100 blessings every day. (Talmud Men. 43a) (See this list of 100 blessings offered by author Dannie Siegal: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/100-blessings/).
This teaching reminds us to approach life with an attitude of gratitude and to look for the things that bring us joy, even amidst the challenges. Here we all are, stuck inside, many of us glued to our Zoom screens. Surely, there is something we can find for which to be grateful. Surely, there is a silver lining, right?
We asked several congregants what blessing they have found during this challenging time. Here are a few things we heard:
- My kids are home taking their college classes remotely. Suddenly, my nest is full again. And I’m loving this opportunity to spend time with my family.
- I’ve not had a practice of talking to my grown kids regularly, but lately I’m talking to my kids and grand kids every day. That routine is nice.
- I’m hearing more from people. Friends who moved away are calling to check in. Family that we see mostly on holidays have called to check in. And I’m checking on people, too. It’s like we can’t be together, but we can still be there for each other.
- My next-door neighbor (a five-year-old) put pictures of rainbows and hearts on his front door. I felt inspired to do the same. We’re spreading cheer to all the passersby.
- I’m not completely stuck inside. I can get outside and get some fresh air during the daytime. If I were commuting to an office, I’d rarely see how pretty the springtime is.
- While my son and husband are filling their days with school or work, I’ve been cooking and I’m really enjoying it.
- I’m grateful for the technology connections we have in this day and age. When my grandmother left her homeland, she could only write letters. She never saw her mother’s face again. I’m so lucky that I can still see my grown daughter via Zoom or Face Time.
- I’m enjoying puzzles again. I haven’t had time for puzzles in ages.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to try things that I have long wanted to try but been unable to because of various commitments — new recipes, walking leisurely through a park or forest to look for the perfect photo, taking a nap, sitting quietly and looking out the window.
- I’m comforted by focusing on “what is” rather than “what if.”
- We had a family game night over Zoom. We haven’t all been together in a while because we are all over the country. Why didn’t we think of this technology solution sooner? It was so fun.
- It’s extraordinary that out of something so challenging comes such lovely connections.
- I learned that my job is an essential job. I never thought of what I do as “essential.” While I don’t get to have as much free time as other people, I actually feel differently about the work that I’m doing.
- I got to go out to ride my motorcycle and I played softball with my kids. The work slowdown is stressful, but what I get to do instead is really special.
- I am grateful to be able to work from home and not have my day be a constant hurtling to and fro, driving long distances and barely having time to take a break for lunch. There is time every day now to enjoy my meal, and to simply be still, even if for just a few minutes at a time.
- This year, I can take more time with my garden than usual. I am really enjoying observing everything that happens in more detail: seeing tiny buds unfurl, daffodils and tulips opening up to the sky, and, having set up a bird feeder for the first time, watching all the species that come to dine. Out in the fresh air, without a watch or a smartphone, I find a lot of peace in nature.
We’d love to hear your silver linings. Send them to:
Originally published in the April 2020 issue of the Shofar. For more issues of the Shofar, visit the Shofar archives.