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Thankful from the MCS Farm

by John McDaniel, Farm Director
Grateful and thankful are two words which I have often used interchangeably. These words, while similar in definition, differ in execution. I have come to believe that being thankful is a feeling and being grateful is an action. 

The Oxford dictionary defines thankful as “pleased and relieved.” It defines gratitude as “showing an appreciation of kindness.” As Thanksgiving approaches, we are often asked to reflect and share what we are thankful for. In a time when family gatherings are discouraged to keep people safe, it will be difficult for many to share their thanks and show their gratitude in person. There will be Zoom, Skype and Facetime gatherings, but it won’t be the same as looking down the table into the faces of loved ones. For many of us, the Covid pandemic has stripped our emotions bare. The phrase of “wearing your heart or feelings on your sleeve” is to openly show your true emotions. While most of us have been unable to gather in person for many months, I have seen growing evidence of people, mainly adults, “wearing their hearts on their sleeve” during remote meetings. The creation of chat rooms, forums, social media and platforms for live video meetings has empowered some and emboldened others to share their current emotions. I wonder, would we say some things, face to face, as we would from the other side of a screen? I see our society becoming increasingly unfiltered, which may, with practice, be a good thing. I hope I am able and have the grace to share my feelings, while being conscious, aware and alert of the feelings of others. Raw emotion can be a thing of beauty and also a thing ugliness. Nature teaches us this. 

What have we learned during these past eight months that we are “gratefully-thankful” for? Are there experiences that we will never take for granted again? I firmly believe the best things in life are not things. I could start a list, but that would only be my list. Start your list.

“Gratitude can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” — Melody Beattie

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