In late May, I read The Management Tip of the Day from the Harvard Business Review entitled “Reframe Challenges to Cope with Uncertainty.” One of the suggested reframes was “Gratitude:  Recognize what you already have and are thankful for.”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, well before I read this article. I’ve thought about the people and things that I may have taken for granted before this pandemic, and it has certainly made me extremely grateful for the people and things I have in my life. Unfortunatetly, we get so busy in our daily lives we don’t often take the time to stop and think about who, and what, we already have and truly appreciate and enjoy.

Some of the things I’m thankful for:

  • My husband, daughter and 3 wonderful grandsons who I live with and support each day. Having 3 toddlers in the house can have its challenges, but they sure bring so much life and happiness. I’m thankful for sharing our family meals for which I’m doing much more cooking these days. Thankfully I love to cook! A special thanks to all the Boston Centerless (BC) team members who are sharing some great recipes on social media. And, I’m very thankful for those restaurants that are providing take out for those nights I just need a break from cooking!
  • Technology: Skype, Zoom, Teams and the many social media apps which have allowed me to ‘meet’ and ‘visit’ with my new grandson, Wes, who was born on April 11th out of state. And of course, for my wonderful son and daughter- in-law who have turned out to be great parents. I’m thankful for all the pictures and videos they send keeping me up to date with what’s going on in their lives and Wes’s progress.
  • My sister- in-law who hosts Saturday night bingo games via Zoom. Bingo has never been my thing but these weekly games have proven to be a lot of fun where a large group of family and friends can spend a couple of hours together, catch up and share a few laughs.
  • My other friends and family members that call or send a quick message just to say hi, or see how things are going.
  • My BC family - our CEO and all of my co-workers who are true heroes. BC has remained open throughout this pandemic to support our customers’ needs. BC has taken every step to protect its employees from this virus from day one, well before there were mandates regarding safety standards issued by the federal, state or local governments. I’m extremely thankful for my continued employment and working with such a great team of caring people.
  • Our vendors who have kept our supply chain running during COVID-19 so that we can fulfill customers’ orders.
  • Our customers who continue to purchase BC’s products and services.
  • All of the other heroes out there that are caring for our sick, protecting our well being and providing food and supplies to those in need.
  • The teachers who have gone above and beyond and have become superheroes in educating our children and grandchildren under such difficult circumstances. My oldest grandson was lucky enough to have one of those amazing teachers!

This time has also made me think more of those less fortunate; those not able to see or spend time with their families and loved ones, the homeless, those at home but possibly in abusive relationships, the children that may be lacking food because they’re not in school, the students whose education may have been negatively affected, the graduates that possibly missed out on some of the greatest experiences of their lives.

But I am also thankful for the philanthropists, large and small, and philanthropic organizations that help those in need, especially for educational, religious and scientific causes.

John D. Rockefeller was a great philanthropist. He took care of his family first, of course; but he founded the University of Chicago in 1892, the Rockefeller Institute in 1901, and the Rockefeller Foundation in 1911, and made other substantial gifts along the way. He was America’s first billionaire to endow the Rockefeller Foundation whose goal was “to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world.”  The foundation contributed to achievements such as the development of a yellow fever vaccine and the successful eradication of hookworm disease in the United States.

While we are clearly not all billionaire philanthropists, my hope is that we can all do our part to help those in need, stop the spread of this horrible virus, keep a positive outlook to better face life’s challenges going forward and always remain grateful for who, and what, we do have.

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