Opinion

Despite 2020, there is much to be thankful for

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As we look back on 2020 many people will have plenty of things to gripe about.

Closures, lockdowns, masks, cancelations, layoffs, furloughs, riots, a highly contentious election, and so much more has dominated our lives. With so much negativity, I thought it would be nice to reflect on all of the things to be thankful for.

Traditionally when you ask people at Thanksgiving what they are thankful for, they say things like family, health, job, home, etc. This year they really mean it! Too many people are doing without some of those things thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this year we lost country music legend Charlie Daniels, but we are left with his music. One song in particular sums things up pretty well in 2020. “In America” says, “And we may have done a little bit of fightin’ amongst ourselves but you outside people best leave us alone. ’Cause we’ll all stick together, and you can take that to the bank…”

We have proven our resilience through these trying times and have not been defeated.

I believe that between the pandemic, the George Floyd protests, and the presidential election we have learned that even though we may disagree we will come together in times of difficulty and hardship. That’s something to be thankful for.

Through the pandemic we have found new and improved ways to communicate and conduct business online. We have streamlined many operations and learned new ways of doing things. Necessity is the mother of invention and we have certainly been inventive this year.

Although the death of George Floyd and the protests and riots that ensued were a dark chapter in our history, we have learned to finally start listening to and appreciating the perspectives of Black people and all people of color. That’s a big step toward unity and tolerance, which is a good thing.

After everything shut down last spring, we saw sporting events from pros to preps move forward this fall and even though attendance has been limited, we still have teams to cheer for. 

The oil and gas industry may be taking a huge hit in this economy, but we have lower gasoline prices than we’ve seen in a very long time. As a long-distance commuter, I’m very thankful for that.

In this year:

  • I have been furloughed but I have a job.
  • I have been quarantined but I have not been sick.
  • I have been separated from loved ones but I still have all of them.
  • My son learns from home but he’s still getting an education.
  • I’ve had to watch church online, but I’ve been able to view several other churches as well.
  • I’ve been forcing myself to get up early each morning to take a mile-long walk with the dog. I’ve benefitted from better health and having been able to view amazing sights in the night sky and some incredible sunrises.
  • We’ve had to wait most of the year, but we now have new episodes of “The Mandalorian” (a.k.a. “The Baby Yoda Show”).
  • My middle son finished his diesel mechanic classes at Texas State Technical College during the pandemic and he now makes more money than I do.
  • My youngest son is pushing the deadline, but he will become and Eagle Scout (and is a future Aggie!)

And like most people, I am thankful for my family, health, job, church, and home. God has blessed us well through all of this and I trust that he will carry us through whatever remains of 2020 and into 2021.

I hope and pray that each of you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving and many new things to be thankful for a year from now.

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