Our View: Life is messy. Let’s clean it up with a little grace and compassion. | SteamboatToday.com

Our View: Life is messy. Let’s clean it up with a little grace and compassion.

Feel gratitude when you flip a light switch or turn on a faucet. When you visit your doctor, smile and thank them. Give to someone going without and appreciate what you have.

It’s easy to get lost in today’s frenzy and forget to be thankful. Every holiday season we’re reminded to count our blessings or put ourselves in another’s shoes. It’s a time to reflect on what we have, not what we want. We’re supposed to offer kind words and open hearts. Shouldn’t we always do that?

The pandemic has amplified many areas of life and society where being gracious is often neglected. We can be quick to shrug off the person who hands us our morning coffee or bags our groceries. Instead, we find it easier to complain when our order is wrong or a package is late. COVID-19 has held a mirror to our daily attitudes, and it shows a muddled reflection.

“The world is understaffed. Be kind.” That’s sprawled across a poster hanging outside Colorado Bagel Co. in Steamboat Springs. We’re going through an unprecedented, worldwide pandemic, and we require posters telling us to be kind? To realize people are nothing more than human? Unfortunately, yes.

At a glance

At issue: There’s a lot of stress and frustration as the holiday season approaches, things are becoming busier, and we’re still dealing with a global pandemic.

Our View: Amid life’s chaos, let’s challenge ourselves to remember what’s important, how fortunate we are and feel optimistic about our world.

Editorial Board

• Logan Molen, publisher

• Lisa Schlichtman, editor

• Bryce Martin, assistant editor and digital engagement editor

• Ana Gomez, community representative

• Kelly McElfish, community representative

Contact the Editorial Board at 970-871-4221 or lschlichtman@SteamboatPilot.com.

If we’re to advance as a people, as a society, let’s stop being cynical and practice a little grace. It doesn’t cost a thing. There’s no risk. All that can happen is you make someone else feel good, empowered or relieved.

Amid this global uncertainty, there have been bright spots. Some people have reconnected, re-emerged stronger and made the best of a truly bad situation. Think of the face of your elderly parent when they got to hug you for the first time after lockdown. People didn’t come out to rush over and complain or belittle. It was a time of love and embraces, laughter and tears. Those were moments we were grateful for one another. Those moments seem fleeting once again.

So, what are you thankful for? You’re likely going to be asked when you sit down with your loved ones for Thanksgiving dinner. It shouldn’t be a trite question. If you’re feeling empty, take some time for mindfulness and reflect on the basics. How did you feel when you powered up your phone, poured a glass of tap water, received a vaccine, were treated for an injury or hugged and touched your loved one? You should feel grateful. Those things aren’t a guarantee, and they’re mostly possible because of others.

This community has never been slow to show support and step up financially or otherwise. Last year’s Yampa Valley Gives Day made records when it broke the $1 million mark. An anonymous donor gave more than $30 million to help our community with affordable housing. We’re a generally thoughtful community, but we all have moments where we fail to take pause and react poorly even in the most inconsequential of activities. Let’s take that philanthropic spirit we’ve come to enjoy and use it to be an example of how we treat each other, especially in the face of our own adversity. Let’s carry it through our daily lives, with a smile, a courteous word, a show of patience.

The next time your food is running late, you’re stuck at the end of a long line or you discover a product that’s not in stock or a store is closed early, we challenge you, and ourselves, to try something different. Take a moment before you read the riot act to the person you’re in front of and envision your mom, your son, your neighbor or your best friend as that person. Could you react differently?

If there’s anything we’ve learned through the pandemic, it’s how fragile things are once we lose life’s guardrails. Life isn’t perfect; it’s messy. But we can do a bit of tidying whenever we chose. Let’s start at that chore together with some compassion and understanding.

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