Expressing gratitude and sharing hope

HELPING OUT FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Lance Tudela gives back to his community by organizing a Thanksgiving food drive with Father Duenas Memorial School in November. Photo courtesy of Lance Tudela

Dr. Michael Fishman wrote that in moments of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, "a grateful perspective is critical to sustain our positive attitude – to energize, to heal, and to bring hope."

"Being grateful is a free mindfulness practice to help us cope with anxiety and uncertainty by focusing on what we value, what is in our control, and what we can give back," he further wrote in an article published by the National Institutes of Health.

So many people, Guamanians of all ages, have expressed anxiety and fear during this global pandemic over health, jobs, finances, school and overall well-being. But there's still much to be thankful for.

"We tend to take for granted those little things that brighten our days, and this season, we're given gentle reminders not to forget how blessed we truly are to be here today," says Anicia Taisipic, a language arts teacher at Saint Francis Catholic School.

"This is especially true during this unfortunate pandemic. We woke up today – we should give thanks for that!"

As Taisipic noted, the island is now in the holiday season. In pre-pandemic years, teens from schools all over the island will be donating their time to various organizations over the weekend as they work to collect community work hours for graduation but also give back to the island that is raising and supporting them.

Lance Tudela, a senior at Father Duenas Memorial School, recently assisted with grab-and-go Thanksgiving food donations for those who need a little bit of help.

"We as humans often lose track of what we have and are given, such as having a roof over our head or even simply waking up to another day of life," he said. "The coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to spend more time at home, which has allowed for families to spend quality time with each other, and has made them appreciative of what they have."

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