I am grateful for Thanksgiving, this year more than ever. Given the plight and worry that 2020 brought, there probably were times when feeling thankful was out of reach for many of us. Thanksgiving reminds us to count our blessings. Call me an eternal optimist, but I believe there are still plenty of big and small blessings to be found in all of our lives.
I recently sat down to acknowledge all the good that still exists in my life—and the world—and all that is still possible. The list is growing daily and I would like to share an excerpt with you. I hope we can all join together in giving thanks and thereby find calm, recharge, and lift our spirits.
- I am thankful to have a wonderful family and friends who have stood by me in good and bad times and are a constant source of support and love.
- I am thankful for living in the United States of America, where my vote counts and I have freedom of speech.
- I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to spend most of my life helping develop the next generation of leaders.
- I am thankful for having the freedom to research and write about issues that are dear to me and that may empower others to make a difference.
- I am thankful to have had the privilege to serve as president of two outstanding universities that I admire and care about deeply—in each case surrounded by dedicated, resilient and hopeful people who are willing to make personal sacrifices for the sake of our community and who seek the silver linings born of tragedy.
- I am thankful to be alive and healthy.
- I am thankful for having much to look forward to in the years ahead and more to contribute to help make the world a better place.
People who practice gratitude on a regular basis are known to be healthier and happier, and they tend to better deal with anxiety and change. For those of us who until now haven’t taken the time out of our days to notice and reflect on the good things around us, I suggest that Thanksgiving 2020 is the perfect opportunity to start a new habit.
With immense gratitude for all of you,
Case Western Reserve University