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Gratitude During a Pandemic

This article is part of a series on personal finance during the coronavirus pandemic. Please check out the Coronavirus and Your Finances Series (link will open in a new window).

Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk.
–Rumi (who was an excellent poet…I highly recommend him!)

While we’re all sheltering in place, quarantining, it can be very easy to focus on what we don’t have. We don’t have a lot of physical freedom. Some of us don’t have jobs. We may not have economic security.

That mindset is a way to a vicious cycle. The more you focus on the bad, the more you’ll see the bad.

Yet, as Baylor’s Jo-Ann Tsang’s research shows, having gratitude makes us more prosocial, meaning that it makes us more connected with those around us and with our community.

When we’re physically separated from each other, when most of the news focuses on the bad outcomes, gratitude can help us maintain balance, focus, and a forward view. It also reconnects us with others, even if we can’t connect with them physically.

Tonight, Dallas and Forth Worth had a moment of thanks for first responders and medical professionals who are fighting an isolating and scary fight against something for which we currently have no immunity.

Our friends at our apartment complex put together an impromptu “HONK IF YOU LOVE YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS” sign show. We live next to an emergency room, so, hopefully, they got to hear the honking of the people who went by.

We were fortunate to have WFAA channel 8 and FOX 4 news cover our efforts.

and

I am grateful that we have people who go forth into the breach every day so that we can live the lives that we live. It’s not just our military. It’s not just our police, firefighters, and EMTs. It’s not just our medical professionals. It’s the people who work in our grocery stores making sure that we can get groceries. It’s the USPS, Amazon, UPS, and FedEx people making sure that we get our deliveries. It’s people who work in farms and ranches to produce the food, and the people who move the food from farm to our table. It’s the teachers who have had to adapt on the fly to make sure we don’t have a lost year or a lost generation of education.

There are probably many more whom I’m not listing. It’s not commission. It’s omission.

Remember to be grateful. You get to choose your attitude every day. You get to choose how you interact with others. Humility and gratefulness keeps us all together.

By Jason Hull, CFP®

Jason Hull, CFP®, was the co-founder of Broadtree Partners, a firm that acquires $1-5MM EBITDA companies. He also was the co-founder of open source search consultancy OpenSource Connections, a premier Solr and ElasticSearch firm. He and his wife FIREd (financial independence retire early) at 46 and 45, respectively. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a MBA from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business.

You can read more about him in the About Page.

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