As we enter the heart of the 2020 holiday season, it would be easy to say there’s not much to be thankful for.
After all, a pandemic has been ravaging our country since March. More than 270,000 Americans have died, with millions more having contracted the disease. Our politics have divided us, our economy is in tatters and far too many people, including me, have found themselves out of work and forced to compete for the few jobs that are available.
I would argue, however, that, despite all of this, there is indeed much to be thankful for.
- I am thankful for you, my fellow IABC members, who have continued to stay engaged in our association, despite the chaos swirling around you. The value of IABC has long been found in the connections it helps us foster with our fellow communicators, connections that have never been more important than they are today.
- I am also thankful for our chapter and region leaders, who have continued to dedicate so much time and energy to serving our membership. Given that they are all volunteers, with many other concerns in their personal and professional lives, the fact that they have not wavered from their commitments means a lot.
- I am thankful for the technologies that have allowed us to stay connected despite not being able to get together in person. It is hard to replicate the benefits of face-to-face interaction, but just imagine what things would be like if we didn’t have the ability to so easily join together through video conferencing.
- I am thankful that (knock wood) I and my immediate family members have managed to stay healthy. It hasn’t always been easy being stuck under one roof, learning and working remotely, but we know and appreciate the fact that it could be, and for so many families has been, much worse.
As we wrap up this year and turn the page to 2021, I encourage you to keep in your thoughts those we have lost to this pandemic, those who have lost friends or loved ones to the disease, and those on the “front lines” of the battle, tirelessly putting their lives on the line to help the rest of us.
If you need to venture out in the weeks ahead, please take the necessary precautions to keep yourselves, and those around you, safe. It may not be a “normal” holiday season, but your selflessness, patience and perseverance will be rewarded when this crisis is finally behind us.
Thank you, take care and stay healthy!
IABC Southern Region Chair, 2020–21