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Finding Gratitude in 2020

Empty tables and chairs in a restaurant
Even if your table is emptier this year, look in your heart, and you'll find it is still full.

Last year I wrote a post about discussing Shaolin training with family members over a holiday meal and how to be okay with them not necessarily being interested in this thing which is so incredible to so many of us. I even drove the image home with a nice photo of friends gathered together, sharing a meal in common.

Last year is not this year.

This year has been challenging, to say the least, and I don’t think I’m overstretching myself if I say that we’re now getting to the most difficult part of the year, the part where we so desperately want to gather so that Uncle Bob can think we’re a weirdo when we talk about Qi flow, or your sister can call it Qway Dong for the 90th time, but instead we find ourselves home and doing our best to have that family gathering through a screen.

How then, do we summon gratitude in all of this?

Arguably, it’s actually easier to find gratitude this year than it has ever been before. At first blush, this may sound a bit daft, but when you stop and think about it, gratitude comes from a deep, simple and sincere place within one’s heart, a place which gets harder to access the more trappings are piled on top of it. Under normal circumstances, we can lose sight of gratitude underneath things like boat payments, $70,000 trucks, and televisions the size of elephants. Having so many things and so many distractions can make it easy to ignore simple things, like our legs, holding us up every day without question, our friends, who will take our call even if they’re busy, even our very lives, which we woke up with intact yet again when others couldn’t say the same. Hidden within the upheavals of this year are the morsels of gold, like the chance to spend more time with family, to be able to slow down and relax a bit, and with all the usual distractions taken away from us, we are then left to consider, and express gratitude for the simplest but most precious things.

And so, I am grateful. Nothing is certain, everything is constantly shifting, and always has been, and yet I’m grateful- for a roof over my head that I don’t have to replace this year, for food on my table which I could just buy in a store, that I got to drive to in my car, for my heart that continues to beat without question, my hands over which I have control, my work which fulfills me and lets me help others, and my practice, which helped me attain the depth of character that allows me to find such gratitude.

And for you I am grateful, that you care to read this, that you care to improve yourself and make the world a better place simply by being healthier and happier.

Happy Thanksgiving. Joy, peace, and blessings to all.

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