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Reasons to be thankful

Thank you: even when many parts of our lives are challenging, we can find multiple reasons to be grateful (Image by Avi Chomotovski/Pixabay.com)

This is an updated article on being thankful and having gratitude – originally written in November 2007.

That year of 2007 was a time of serious financial concerns, capital markets were headed into severe disruption, overheated economies were deflating as an eventual recession loomed ominously ahead. We did not know then what would be the eventual outcome, but retrospectively, markets stabilised, the recession’s devastation faded and economies boomed again.

Presciently, as this year 2022 approaches the close, we again don’t have a good understanding yet of how the country will move forward, and as our people are challenged to manage increased cost of living, high inflation, higher interest rates, and other serious economic worries.

Yet, we humans are amazingly resilient people. We know there is always some aspect of life to be thankful for.

Last Thursday, November 24, 2022, Americans, their relatives, and friends the world over celebrated Thanksgiving, its origin derived hundreds of years ago in gratitude for sheer survival, togetherness, and hope for the future at the dawn of a new nation.


It is still the most popular day of all holidays in the US, with more than 53 million travelling in 2022 to reunite with loved ones, just simply being – for the day – without the distractions of everyday worries.

For so many, this year was probably the first traditional get-together since the onset of Covid isolation and remote communication.

It was a time for ordinary physical interactions: embraces, hugs, hand holding, back-patting, demonstrable feelings of love and caring so long suppressed.

It was a time for remembrance and mourning, too, a bittersweet gathering for families – marked by conspicuous empty places at the table for those lost to this insidious disease.

Why not a legally-mandated thankfulness holiday for Bermuda? The entire concept of a legally-ordained thankfulness holiday has always seemed such a great idea, on a universal basis.

Currently on various other dates, Thanksgiving is observed by Canada, Germany, Grenada, Liberia, and Saint Lucia.

Regretfully, Bermuda islanders do not have a similar edict in place, such as National Day of Thanksgiving or Gratefulness.

However, we can still be thankful for the practical end to a devastating pandemic that so disrupted our lives, our families, and our finances.

We can be so incredibly grateful for all the people who sacrificed time, money, and their own health to assist us all through trauma, grief, loss, and recovery to our new present.

We relied upon these wonderful people – many of whom worked stunning numbers of hours to take care of distressed, ill individuals.

We are so thankful for the many, many charitable and volunteer organisations, local and international businesses, that committed to help Bermuda islanders manage financially, physically, and psychologically in such precarious situations.

There are so many who contributed so much – just to name a few, and my apologies for any missing.

Medical staff, nurses, doctors, technicians, and support personnel at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, ancillary services such as visiting nurses, Agape House, walk-in clinics, Emergency Medical Services, Child and Family Services, The Family Centre, The Salvation Army, The Bermuda Reading Clinic, Churches and Volunteer Food Kitchens, Age Concern, Meals-on-Wheels, Bermuda Fire Service, Bermuda Regiment Band many, many other anonymous individuals.

And the Bermuda Government itself, loosening pension withdrawal regulations and stepping up financial subsidies to stabilise struggling families’ financial stressors.

We will not forget their kindness, commitments, and personal support during a time as a community that we hope never to repeat.

The gratitude gesture

I encourage you to express gratitude personally next week to just one individual, a support service, a donor corporation, a volunteer or other, who supported and helped you manage through Covid and its aftermath. Or at any other time in your life.

The method of communication does not matter. Send a card, leave a message, or a text, or an e-mail is just fine.

I ask you to show your gratitude by seriously committing to taking this initiative.

You will make their day!

Gratitude is a powerful emotion. Gratitude helps bind us together.

Many people don’t realise how much a simple gesture of thanks can mean, research suggests, according to Richard Sima, in the Washington Post this week.

“Making an active intention to give thanks when you feel grateful can make a difference.

“At the end of the day, most people want to be valued. We need social relationships, we value social relationships, we crave being connected with other people. Gratitude is a unique catalyst for not only finding these connections but also strengthening them,” according to Sara Algoe, psychologist and director, The Emotions and Social Interactions in Relationships Laboratory at the University of North Carolina. “The ‘find-remind-and-bind’ theory proposes that:

• Feeling grateful helps us find new contacts,

• Reminds us that current connections care about us, and

• Binds us closer together.

Melody Beattie, American self-help author, more eloquently stated:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

I leave you, dear readers, with a YouTube link to the free Alone Together, a musical tribute to all Covid frontline workers by world-famous cellist, Stjepan Hauser, in a special concert in his home town in the iconic Arena Pula, Croatia. He dedicated this performance to their amazing efforts around the world and to pay tribute to all that is good in humanity. It is beautifully done, emotionally stunning, and soul inspiring, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eYuUAV4YE4

Martha Harris Myron is a native Bermuda islander with US connections. Author of Bermuda’s First Financial Literacy Primer – the Dawn of New Beginnings, a Google News contributor, and the Bermuda – Bermy Island Finance Blog. Contact: martha.myron@gmail.com

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Published November 26, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated November 28, 2022 at 7:25 am)

Reasons to be thankful

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