Gratitude is important in life, especially in the midst of a global pandemic.
These are troubling times for people around the world. The COVID-19 virus has cost many lives, and the collateral damage of the virus is unmeasurable.
The pandemic has exposed flaws in many parts our nation’s institutions. COVID-19 has taken away so much from so many, but good things remain if we look hard enough for them. There is great wisdom in the familiar old clichés: “count your blessings,” “find the silver lining,” and “stop to smell the roses.”
From a personal health perspective, gratitude is always good to practice. It reduces stress, improves sleep, lowers risk for mental health issues and improves the immune system. Gratitude helps us see the best in our lives. Grateful people are also more likely to exercise and eat healthier diets.
One of the things I’m the most grateful for are the professional health care workers. The pandemic has meant that society is asking more from health care workers than ever before. I have been amazed at their selfless courage, dedication and commitment.
Hattiesburg is a major medical hub for south Mississippi, and we are blessed to have so many health care workers in our area. The doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technicians, transporters and other health care workers have been amazing during this difficult time; they are the reason that many people get to live to see another day.
I am grateful for good and responsible journalism. In a time when rumors and conspiracy theories run rampant on the internet, good reporters are fundamental to a healthy and free society.
Reporters play a key role in government transparency and tell the story of the events and issues of our day. Importantly, journalists keep us updated with the latest public health information to keep people safe. I appreciate the job reporters do telling the story of our communities and making a record of current events.
Good journalism can be interesting and entertaining, but more importantly, its true value is an informed and empowered public.
I am also grateful for that people that come by my house regularly to keep my household going: all of the garbage and sanitation workers, utility company workers, mail carriers, delivery drivers and limb tree truck workers. It is easy for these people to be “invisible” as they come and go by our houses almost unnoticed, but life without these people is almost unimaginable.
We all have much for be grateful for – things that we take for granted. It is good for all of us if we remember that more frequently. Notice the good things; you may have to look for them, but savor, absorb, appreciate and pay attention to them.
Keith Ball is an attorney who lives in the Friendly City.