Thank Before You Think

Extend a Hand at a Distance

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

“Think of the wonderful things to say ‘thank you’ for and they will lift your spirits.”

The TED Connects series, hosted by Chris Anderson and other members of the TED team, was designed to create a virtual conversation in this new world of distancing and isolation.

Recently they interviewed Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. In his Ted Connects, Rabbi Sacks offered thoughtful insights on how to navigate the coronavirus pandemic with courage, hope and empathy. In closing the virtual conversation, Rabbi Sacks suggested we start our day by “thanking before thinking.”

We were struck by the power of this simple but profound suggestion.

Why? We have exhausted countless hours over-thinking so many things that have either changed or need to change in the uncertainty created by this pandemic…and with not much to show for it.

So in the spirit of spreading gratitude, not germs, we’re sharing our shortlist of the unsung heroes of this pandemic:

In thanks to…

  • Our healthcare professionals who serve the battleground every day with an immeasurable supply of compassion, competence and care.
  • Our First Responders who remain frontline yet relentless, courageous and undeterred in their service to us all.
  • The parents who are navigating life, work and relationships 24/7 without assistance, breaks, privacy or balance.
  • The good samaritans leaving notes in mailboxes offering assistance to any neighbors needing help with the yard, or picking up prescriptions and groceries.
  • The retailers who have been vigilant in meeting our heightened demand for countless (and often crazy) supplies.
  • The virtual “virtuosos” – the technical geniuses managing the increased traffic and stress caused by our global demand for virtual connection and conversation. Your job is silent, stretched, stressed and super significant.
  • The family, friends and colleagues who spread empathy, hope and encouragement in the midst of our fears.
  • Our collective acceptance of being authentic, unplugged and even awkward.
  • To everyone who is taking this seriously and doing whatever it takes to stop the social spread so we can rise out of this crisis sooner vs. later.
  • The experts who are relentless in their pursuit to find a way to contain and control this viral enemy.

What can you do?

We have three children – two are working the frontlines of this pandemic. Taylor-Grace is a child life specialist at Stanford Children’s Hospital. She received a handwritten note from a young woman named Hannah she had never met. Through a friend of a friend, Hannah heard that Taylor-Grace goes into the hospital daily. Hannah’s heartfelt note overflowed with kudos and appreciation for the courage and compassion Taylor-Grace brings to the hospital every day.

Aubrey is a Firefighter/Medic in Utah. She and her crew were at a local grocery store stocking up for their shift. The shelves were empty and there wasn’t enough to feed the crew for even 2 days. They had to go to another market on the other side of town. Thankfully, the vibe at their second stop was far less panicked and they were able to get what they needed. At checkout the gentleman behind Aubrey and her crew insisted on paying for their groceries in appreciation for their service.

  • In these days of distancing we might not be able to extend a hand literally, but we can figuratively, financially and emotionally.
  • Look around. Who needs a hand, who might benefit from an act of empathy, a note of appreciation or a nudge of encouragement?