Campus Current

Letter from the editor

Gratitude is worth reflecting on

Editor-in-Chief Roxanne Ready says time spent engaging in AACC's community is worthwhile.

Editor-in-Chief Roxanne Ready says time spent engaging in AACC's community is worthwhile.

Brandon Hamilton

Brandon Hamilton

Editor-in-Chief Roxanne Ready says time spent engaging in AACC's community is worthwhile.

Roxanne Ready, Editor-in-Chief

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Every November, I have a little ritual: I set aside some time to write out a list of things I’m grateful for.

It’s not a terribly original idea, I know. But something about putting a pen to paper and physically writing makes me slow down and appreciate the blessings in my life.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day issues of our lives: this test to study for, that annoying patch of traffic. Maybe you’re annoyed even to be at AACC because you’d rather be somewhere else.

All of life’s little frustrations and irritations pile up, add themselves to our bigger struggles and can make it hard to find space for gratitude.

This year, especially, I find myself thinking about all the little things we sometimes take for granted.

With so many recent natural disasters across the country, including hurricane devastation in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico, I am struck by how lucky we are to have simple conveniences like water, electricity and a roof to sleep under—and how quickly those things can be taken away.

As I write this, 95 percent of Puerto Rico is still without power, and roughly half of its residents don’t even have access to safe drinking water. Hurricanes Irma and Harvey together killed more than 140 people in Florida and Texas and left thousands without homes.

A friend of mine once told me, “Emotions flow from what you wrap your mind around.”

If you think about upsetting things all the time, you’re going to be upset.

If you focus your mind on all the frustrations and aggravations of day-to-day life, you’re going to be frustrated and aggravated.

So this season, as you feel the little things piling up and the bigger things weighing you down, remember to step back, take a breath and think about the good in your life.

Even if life is hard right now, just start with something small, like access to clean water and a college education.

Consider that cell phone in your back pocket that lets you access a world of information, or just a funny image when you need a laugh. The basic literacy that lets you read this paper, the roads you rode to campus on, the roof over your head that keeps you dry this winter—all of these are basic, simple things, but they are worth being grateful for.

It’s important not to ignore the  sad, hard or tragic things happening in the world, but it’s also important not to become stuck in a pit of despair because of them.

Taking even a small action can help.

Consider making a small donation to a worthy organization, pray for the people involved if you are so inclined, perhaps even write your politicians to put your support behind giving aid to people in need.

And then take a breath, think of something you’re thankful for and let gratitude center your day.

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The independent student newspaper of Anne Arundel Community College.
Letter from the editor