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Why I have a lot to be grateful right now.

March 22, 2020

 

I read on my Facebook feed that some people struggle to feel grateful right now. I was surprised. I feel more gratitude than ever. Some people feel horrible because they have been hit really hard by the pandemic. For others, the current situation has triggered mental health issues. We need to help both of those groups.

I believe that there is a third miserable group. They are the ones who believe that it is their duty to be sad this period, given the suffering there is in the world. They are wrong.

By feeling horrible you are not helping anyone. This is not what compassion is about. Doing everything you can to stay strong and positive does not make you callous or tone-deaf. Taking care of your mental health and attitude will allow you to support the less lucky.

Here is my gratitude list from this morning. Reply in the comments’ section with yours. Let’s inspire each other to appreciate what is going well. Let’s not stop seeing the beauty and luck and marvel that is all around us.

I am grateful that:

Personal

  • My family, friends, and teammates are healthy.

  • I speak to friends and family more; the crisis brought us closer together.

  • I am going to see my husband more, as he started working from home.

  • This virus does not seem to put the kids in significant danger — thankfully!

  • Even with social distancing, I get to cuddle my kids and get a lot of oxytocin through the human touch. Many people who live alone are not that lucky. Maybe pet adoption should go up?

  • I can help those who are not so lucky. Last week, my company signed a contract to support a Greek charity, The Smile of The Child.


Work

  • Our coaching at The Leaderpath was already 80% virtual, so our work has barely been disrupted.

  • Some speaking and team coaching cancellations gave me the time to decompress, write, and strategize.

  • My team has the skills to help the world in this crisis — we build professional relationships that people use for their growth. The world needs relationships and growth more than ever.


Social

  • Our planet will breathe due to reduced pollution and travel.

  • I see everyday acts of kindness and inspiration. I welled up when I read the Chinese poem that Japan wrote when they sent supplies to China: “Even though we live at different places, we live under the same sky.” China used a Roman poem when they sent supplies to Italy: “We are waves of the same sea.” In my neighborhood, a group came together to provide supplies to the elderly. Businesses offer resources for free. People support small business owners who might struggle through the close-downs. We are becoming better humans through this.

  • Our great grandparents were called to war. We are called to sit on our sofa. We can do this!


I know some people will read this and will feel angry. Maybe they are not so lucky as I am. Maybe their life has been more disrupted from the pandemic. And to you, I say I am sorry. I did not write this to rub my privilege to your wounds.

I wrote this because I see healthy, affluent people going into a black hole. And I want to shout: Don’t do this. Look up. You have so much to be grateful for. If you go into a downward spiral, who will help those in need?

I shared my gratitude list hoping it would act as an inspiration. I want to read yours. Let’s lift each other up. We can do this!

 

Caterina Kostoula is an executive coach and founder of The Leaderpath. To receive tips on how to create meaningful impact and a fulfilling life, you can subscribe to the Leader’s Path, a monthly email hitting your inbox every 1st of the month. Connect with Caterina on LinkedIn or Facebook.

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