The year 2020 is moving ahead at a rapid pace, and more than a few people are thankful for this. The year 2020 has been an unexpectedly difficult one, with the COVID-19 pandemic and an ever-widening gap among citizens due to police misconduct, racial polarization, and political intrigue. The names Breonna Taylor and George Floyd were among those that generated widespread support and brought great attention to the inequality of treatment that African Americans have endured at the hands of law enforcement.

In addition, the new Presidential Elections were held, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris became the President-Elect and Vice President-Elect, respectively. Scheduled to take office during the January 2021 inauguration. Kamala Harris made history for being the first woman and the first woman of color to ascend to that office. In spite of this, Donald Trump has refused to concede, and an air of uncertainty surrounds his future.

At press time, more than 240,000 individuals have lost their lives due to COVID-19, and for the greater period of time during the year the sitting president, Donald Trump, played fast and loose regarding the pandemic. Initially, he called it a “hoax,” but it was later revealed that he had been briefed early on and knew how lethal the virus was. Yet he still did nothing significant about it. Moreover, he turned the country on its head with his anti-science approach that exacerbated the situation and, according to most observers, this behavior contributed to the escalation of cases.

The foregoing are just a few of the notable events that occurred during this year. So, as we look back, some people might question whether or not the Thanksgiving Holiday would have meaning in such a chaotic environment. For example, it has been recommended that family gatherings be reduced or cut out altogether because of COVID-19. This would seem to be a death knell for a holiday that is literally built around family. So, the question might be, “What do we have to be thankful for?”

The answer to that last question is “A lot.” Let’s explore this notion. First, we must understand that with every downside, there is an upside. The key is identifying the upsides. As we look back, there has been a great deal of deprivation, which has resulted in an appreciation for a lot of things that many people may have taken for granted. Because of the mandates to maintain a certain distance from other human beings, people are learning anew the value of human interaction. People are not able to comfortably shop for food and other necessities. Because of this, people have a renewed sense of value for performing simple tasks. Because people are often sheltered-in-place with family members, people are getting to know one another. More importantly, they are getting to know themselves better. The isolation is accompanied by a lot of introspection. People are re-visiting their religious convictions and have become more deeply involved in whatever religious or spiritual disciplines that audition on the stage of their lives.

Regarding first responders, they are experiencing a renewed appreciation and are seen as the new superheroes who risk their lives on a daily basis helping others during the pandemic. Along these same lines, people with a modicum of common sense are gaining a better appreciation for the part that science plays in our lives. Science can and does save lives.

People are gaining a greater appreciation for the lives and needs of pets, and by extension, animals in general. They are on this planetary sojourn with the rest of us and have been impacted by the pandemic. In a similar vein, a lot of people are gaining a greater appreciation for nature. It was noted during the early days of the pandemic that the planet seemed to start healing itself; in some areas pollution was reduced significantly. Finally, people have found that they can use online platforms in order to work from home and to generally keep in contact with each other. This was an unexpected resource that can serve us for years to come.

So, there is a lot for which we can be thankful, if we just look beyond the challenges. With this said, the Crusader wishes you and yours a very safe and calm Thanksgiving Holiday. A Luta Continua.

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