January 28, 2021

Take time to be grateful: Find gratitude in the face of uncertainty

INDIANAPOLIS — Being grateful, especially after a year as challenging as 2020, may not be easy, but it is important, said author and speaker Devin Hughes at the Indiana Farm Bureau Convention.

“I think we have a parallel pandemic called GDD — gratitude deficit disorder,” Hughes said. “What are you grateful for during the pandemic?

“I’m going to argue that gratitude is actually a superpower. Even in the midst of a pandemic, you can find things to be grateful for.”

People are struggling right now, Hughes said.

Social connections are at risk during quarantine, he said.

“Sixty-five percent of Americans spend more time with their computers than with their spouses,” he said. “We also have a loneliness epidemic here in America. Forty-six percent of Gen Z’s say they are lonely.”

People have never been more lonely, disconnected or polarized as they are now. But you can take steps to make your life, and the world, better.

“Pull out your smartphone, send someone a text or email and let them know you’re thinking about them,” Hughes advised.

Let them know that you love them, that you appreciate them or that you miss them. Let another human being know that they matter.

“If you don’t let people know that they matter now, when do you plan to do it?” Hughes said. “If not you, then who? I’m asking you to put the human back in humanity.”

Hughes also charged the audience to check in with someone each day. Whether it’s a text, email or a call, take time to reach out to someone.

Also consider taking time to share good news.

“Quite often good things happen in your town, community and home,” Hughes said. “Do you talk about it? Share it? Communicate it? If you’re not talking about the good stuff, to the brain it’s like it doesn’t exist. Talk about the good news.”

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor