From l-r: Bradon Scott, Nick Mosby, Bill Henry, and Pastor Mike Freeman. (Photos courtesy of Facebook)

By Marnita Coleman
Special to the AFRO

When the year began, it boasted to be “The Year of 20/20 Vision.” Folks became excited, embracing the premise that 20/20 vision is a perfect lens. Many made their resolutions, and this time, were determined to stick to it. It was going to be an awesome start to an awesome year.

Just two months in, the coronavirus ramped up, making international news. Proactively, Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order that substantially changed daily activity in the State of Maryland. All eyes and ears were on the spread of the virus as families were firmly instructed to quarantine and adhere to the new regulations from our leadership.

“This year has undoubtedly been a difficult one, but through the tough times, I always try to remind myself of the positive moments and blessings in life,” Mayor-Elect Brandon Scott explained to the AFRO. “As Thanksgiving approaches, I reflect on all for which I’m grateful. When I think of what I’m grateful for, many things come to mind, but the love I have for my city outweighs them all. I am grateful for our residents who exude strength each and every day. I am grateful to call this beautiful city my home and most of all, I am grateful to have been chosen to continue to serve the residents of Baltimore for years to come,” he added.

Now, with just over a month left in the year, hundreds of thousands are dead, unemployment skyrocketed, Trump administration melodrama continues, businesses are destroyed from vandalism while others collapsed under the weight of the economy, communities are displaced due to hurricanes, children are struggling with virtual learning and yet hope has the audacity to 

bud amid the unprecedented onslaught of the times.  

“Through it all, I have been inspired by the resiliency of our great city and we will continue to persevere as we enter a new year,” City Council President-Elect Nick Mosby told the AFRO. “With the holiday season upon us, I want to remind our residents to adhere to all COVID-19 guidelines and to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and loved ones. We will continue to work together to overcome challenges, and I am thankful for our citizens who have worked endlessly to support one another during these arduous times,” Mosby added.

This Thanksgiving will be distinct. Traditionally, my family watches the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from beginning to end. We cook and nibble until dinner, then we spread the meal with all the trimmings. After we stuff ourselves, there’s usually a movie that stirs our discussion and even debate. We finalize the night with more dessert and football. This Thanksgiving we’re only preparing the food we like most in small portions. There won’t be any “what is that” on the table, or “how much of it is leftover?” Our extended family will visit by way of  Zoom, and we’ll certainly watch the parade and nibble to our hearts delight.

Comptroller-Elect Bill Henry shared his Thanksgiving sentiments with the AFRO,“As a child, Thanksgiving meant piling into the car with my parents and my sister for dinners in both central Pennsylvania and West Baltimore. Now that I’m older, and have my own family, I have appreciated spending time at home relaxing with my wife and daughters. Despite this year’s Thanksgiving looking different than years past, it still means spending time with those you love, sharing a meal, and being grateful for all that we have.”

Don’t focus on social distancing or not having grandma’s peach cobbler, count your blessings, and name them one by one. According to Forbes, there are scientifically proven health benefits of gratitude that will enhance your well-being. Gratitude improves psychological health, physical health, increases mental strength, and is a major contributor to resilience.

According to Apostle Mike Freeman, pastor of Spirit of Faith Christian Center, we should “ in a continual state of gratitude for every moment you are alive, everything you have, everything you are and ever hope to do and be. Remember, in everything give thanks. Not for everything but in everything (1 Thess 5:18).”  

This year we’ve redefined heroes in our community. We rallied around causes that were somehow oblivious. And when the nation had had enough, it solidified our democracy with a vote. This Thanksgiving reflects the values that the foundation of the first Thanksgiving was built upon.