Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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Sometimes, when things are difficult, it is easy to forget to stop and smell the roses

These days, social media posts and memes have supplanted mass emails as the primary method of sending out everything from jokes to heart-tugging stories to alarmist political messages. But there is a message – a list really – with origins that can likely be traced back to the mass email days, or perhaps even the mass fax days that preceded them.

The whole list is too long to feature in this finite amount of editorial space, but the gist of it is to take the challenges that everybody is facing in life and view the silver lining of it. For example, if you have a messy house, it means you have a roof over your head and a house full of family to love with which to spend your precious time. If you are dreading going to work, this list points out that you have a job that helps pay the bills.

The list includes numerous other examples, but you get the idea, right? Sometimes, when things are difficult, it is easy to forget to stop and smell the roses, appreciate the little things or count your blessings. Yes, all of these sayings are overused cliches, but they are cliches for a reason. There is a nugget of wisdom in what they say.

2020 is not likely a year that people will look back on with wistful nostalgia. All people will likely think about is the COVID pandemic, violent riots rising out of troubling incidents of police brutality and racism and a highly polarized election that failed to conclude after the usual first Tuesday in November.

But as Christmas awaits at the end of this week, perhaps it's time to dig a little deeper, embrace what is going right this year and commit the holiday to celebrating the positive aspects of our lives. They may be small blessings or modest victories, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be treasured and appreciated. Maybe you have a teen who graduated high school this year. Maybe you had a personal breakthrough of some sort. Heck, maybe you welcomed a new baby to the family, or even a new pet.

Take some time this week and really sift through the muck that is the COVID pandemic, the riots, the election and all the national challenges they have presented. Find those nuggets of good stuff and cling to them, for this week at the very least. It may not make the challenges go away or even diminish, but it will be a good reminder – much like the list of silver linings referenced above – that there are still good things in life worth our attention.


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