From Panic To Peace

Recent weeks have been been difficult for us active seniors, disrupting our routines, confining us to four walls and curtailing our social interactions. Learning to be grateful within these difficult moments is both an art and a survival technique.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy created the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The goal of the agency is to lead the government’s humanitarian efforts. Dr. Felicia Wilson Young is the USAID Deputy Director. She recently spoke about gratitude. Can gratitude help us manage this experience? Dr. Young recommends being grateful for simply the moment. “Grateful for nature that is around me, grateful for the ability to breathe, grateful for being in my right mind, grateful for my family and the people who love me.” She explains that if you are in a place of gratitude, you value other people and recognize the ways in which they enhance our lives.

Yes, we are being changed by recent events. But this experience can be transformational in a productive, purpose-driven way. We can focus on the gifts we have, both externally and internally. Let’s embrace life, be it through technology, writing, music, prayer or creating art in our unique way. Gratitude can propel us to move forward, to inspire and encourage others in this and any circumstance.

When this pandemic ends and finally becomes a memory, what will be left? A greater understanding, a greater consciousness, greater positivity and the importance of gratitude in everyday life. Trey Gowdy said it best. “These three remain: Faith, Hope and Love. We’ll make it. No us/them. Let’s put others ahead of ourselves. Courage. Compassion. Caution in equal parts. Take care of one another with cautious courage until the sun re-emerges.” And it will.

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