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A bunch of pumpkins sit atop a tired stack of hay bales

I imagine that each of you has been asked, with some regularity, a relatively benign question over the course of this pandemic.  That in the course of your day what once passed as a ritual greeting has been asked of you with greater sincerity and interest in the answer.

“How are you?”

It’s a question that I have found has become progressively more and more difficult to answer.  *I* am doing fine.  I am healthy, working, and by all accounts doing better than I have any right to during a pandemic.  Yet I know so many who are suffering.  I’ve lost people I care for and seen so many more people I care for grieving those they have lost.  I’ve encountered challenges like none I have ever faced as a camp director.  Every day is full of questions and doubt…what is next?

And now it is Thanksgiving.  The first in my life where I won’t be gathering with family and friends.  It all begs a question:

How do you give thanks during a pandemic?

The answer is: “the normal way”.  As I write that it reads like a terribly unfunny punchline to a joke no one wants to hear.  To be clear I am talking about the act of giving thanks, and not the act of celebration of Thanksgiving.  Our celebrations and gatherings should not be the normal way right now.  And so it is all the more important that the things we can continue the normal way, like the act of giving thanks, we do.  Perhaps with more intentionality than ever before.
Giving thanks for the good in life doesn’t ignore the bad, nor is it necessary to try to balance the challenges and hard stuff with a bright side of good.  
Giving thanks is the intentional act of shining light on those things and people that make you happy and fulfilled.  When every day the news pulls your attention towards the bad, let’s take a moment and lift up the good.

The normal way.

In so doing, we might just find that our decidedly abnormal life is a little easier to navigate.


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Author Information

Jason Smith