Glenn Mangurian reflects on “Being Thankful in 2020”

November 23, 2020 by Glenn Mangurian

This Thanksgiving is very different from years past. There will be no Macy’s parade, no morning high school football games and fewer family gatherings. We are experiencing challenges that disrupt our lives and highlight problems that create stress and anxiety. While this is normally a season of joy and gratitude, we can still be thankful this year.

Each year most of us are grateful for the family and friends who enrich our lives. Beyond our treasured relationships there are daily acts of kindness that oftentimes go unnoticed and unacknowledged. I wrote an essay a few months back called “I see invisible people.” They are the transit workers, dishwashers, grocery restockers, home delivery people, nursing assistants, gas station attendants and many others that we have started calling “essential workers”. They have always been there servicing us but now we notice and appreciate them as we always should have. I say “thank you for your service.”

If there is a lesson for this Thanksgiving, it is that there are many simple things all around us which we may have taken for granted until now. We have always valued activities such as family holiday gatherings, time with our grandchildren, young people going to school, going to entertainment events or attending church services. Could we ever have imagined that these things could have been threatened, impacted, or taken away from us in some way? What if we did appreciate the simple things all the time, in an authentic way? What kind of an impact would that have on our lives, our work, and our relationships?

Take a moment to pause, scan your life right now and put your attention on all of the simple things for which you can express gratitude. We always have a choice as to what we pay attention to, what we focus on, and what we appreciate (or don’t). Make a commitment to genuinely be thankful for the simple things in your life today, tomorrow and every day. See what happens. You might be surprised.

Have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.

Glenn Mangurian has been a resident of Hingham for 35 years. He is a retired business leader with more than four decades of experience driving innovation and results with his clients. Glenn remains active with his writing, speaking, family, and community.

In May 2001, Glenn suffered an injury to his spinal cord, resulting in the paralysis of his lower body. Drawing on his personal experience, he authored an article titled “Realizing What You’re Made Of,” which was published in March 2007 in the Harvard Business Review. In May 2017 he published his first book, Pushing the Edge of Thought, Possibility and Action – Questions and Insights from Everyday Life.

Glenn Mangurian can be reached at:

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