A year ago, I gathered with my extended family at my sister’s house for Thanksgiving, like we had been doing for years. We ate too much, played some crazy game my sister put together (my team won, obviously) laughed and enjoyed the special time with each other. Who could have imagined then what a difference a year could make?
Just two years before that, we gathered the same way in the same place and had no idea that would be the last time our dad would be at the table. Just one year later, our robust, lively dad was in the hospital and the following year he was gone. We never know in the moment what the future will bring. I’m incredibly grateful for the years we had and the time spent together.
This year, my extended family will only get together by Zoom. We’ll hunker down in our own homes, cook smaller turkeys, stay safe and still eat too much. I’m certain there will still be laughter and warm feelings because even distance can’t steal those from us. And, despite all the sad things that have happened in the past year, we will be grateful. We will be grateful for what we have and for what we had. Though sad for what we’ve lost, we’ll give thanks for what remains.
As Spartans, there are many things to be thankful for. We don’t give up. We take advantage of the moments we have to make better tomorrows. We celebrate together and support each other when times are tough. That’s who we are. That’s always who we should strive to be.
Next Tuesday is GivingTuesday when people around the globe help others. If you’re looking to participate, consider supporting Spartans through scholarships, research projects, student and veteran resources and more.
If this holiday season is causing you anxiety or you're wondering how Thanksgiving will be impacted by the pandemic, check out what MSU experts have to say in the articles How will COVID-19 affect Thanksgiving? and Ask the Expert: Managing anxiety through the holiday season. And reach out to others, even virtually, to take care of yourself. No one should have to go this alone.
And if you just want to take a break and look at some beautiful campus photos, we’ve got you covered with The week in photos. I’m grateful every day for the opportunity to work on such a beautiful campus so, during this time when I can’t be there, I appreciate those taking photos every week so we can feel closer to “home.”
Simone Nagi, a junior majoring in supply chain management in the Broad College of Business, has made MSU her home after coming here from India as an international student. Earning a perfect 4.0 her first year, an invitation to the Honors College and a prestigious internship was “a distant dream about two years ago.” Read her Student view: My transformation as a Spartan to learn more about this determined young Spartan.
The years go by fast and we never can imagine what they will bring, good or bad. The key is to appreciate everything in the moment. To relish what life has given rather than curse what has been taken away. Show gratitude every day, not just once a year on Thanksgiving. Your life will be richer for it.
In the words of the Roman poet, Horace, “Cease to inquire what the future has in store and take as a gift whatever the day brings forth.” Enjoy your gift, Spartans. Spartans Will.