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Practicing gratitude — a COVID-mantra we all need

Several stories of love, kindness and outpouring of help have been coming to me from around the world. Countries and individuals are putting their heads, hearts and wallets together to help the many suffering in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, many still find time to constantly crib about everything and complain. People, bored sitting at home and working from home, are complaining about work from home, some are complaining about those not wearing masks while others are complaining about having to wear masks. Many want government aid, help and support, and several continue receiving it yet, there are more complaints than ever.

Last week, I saw a graphic which read “don’t spend your life waiting in the wrong line” and a huge queue of people lined up behind a window that read ‘Complaints’ as opposed to just two people standing outside the window that read ‘Gratitude’. Such a simple image, yet so powerful.

I am definitely not saying that there is no reason to complain; yes, right now I agree there is a lot to complain about but that’s not all, is it? There is a lot to be grateful about as well. For example, those complaining about work from home, need to find in their hearts the gratitude of having a job at all in these turbulent times. There are so many who don’t have a job or have lost their jobs due to COVID. So even if it is difficult to sit at home, not meet anyone and constantly keep trying to maintain the balance between work and living, be grateful that you don’t have to worry about food or the roof over your heads.

A friend’s sister is a doctor who has people screaming at her for not providing instant treatment and then some others who are falling at her feet calling her a miracle worker, after curing them of COVID. She wants neither of the two extremes but just a little empathy. She just hopes that those even getting the opportunity to get any sort of treatment will hold in their hearts gratitude that they are able to then pass along to whoever needs help next.

And isn’t that what gratitude is all about! Recognizing the good, empathizing with everyone and holding gratitude in our hearts to pass along to someone else.

Gratitude is the one tool in our mental health toolbox that we need to bring out more often. Up here in Northern B.C., the people I have met are not alienated or away from the fury of COVID. They are also affected, have lost loved ones, lost freedom of movement but so many of them continue to be grateful for their lives and pass it along through charities and fundraisers to those who are currently faced with misfortune.

Today, I am grateful to live in a region that constantly preaches and practices gratitude. What are you grateful for?

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist


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