Gratitude, though, does not mean you are pretending everything is okay and living in denial. Instead, gratitude is choosing to focus on appreciating your life as it is right now.
In the 90’s, the rap artist Snap produced a song called “The Power.” The song became a number one hit and has since been used often in movies. The lyrics are pretty basic with a chorus that simply repeats “I’ve got the power.” If you remember this song, or have heard it before, you will probably be hearing it in your head for the rest of the day.
I mention that song because this quarter we are looking at the importance of gratitude, especially as we continue to live through the global pandemic caused by Covid.
Quite a few people have some misunderstandings of what gratitude actually is. Some associate it with the person who is always happy in all situations. Gratitude, though, does not mean you are pretending everything is okay and living in denial. Instead, gratitude is choosing to focus on appreciating your life as it is right now. The key word or action in that last sentence is “choosing.” We will come back to that.
In his book “The Upward Spiral,” neuroscientist Alex Korb states, “Your psychological well-being depends less on the things that happen to you and more on the things you pay attention to.” That is where the power of gratitude lies and why it can have such an impact during this pandemic. A big part of what has made the last 18 months so hard is that we feel powerless, that we have no control, and that everything is so uncertain.
When we choose to be grateful, two important things take place. One, it gives us back some of the power because we can simply choose to do it. Nothing can stop us. Two, it shifts our focus off from all that is going wrong and things we can’t control and towards those things that do bring us joy. It helps us remember what we have, not what we don’t have.
So as we continue to live through the challenges of this pandemic, let’s help us and our kids take back some of the control. Let’s change our focus. Let’s take action. Let’s choose to be grateful. If we do, then we truly can sing that old 90’s hit, “I’ve got the power.”
Written by Karl Steinkamp
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