Bring gratitude to the forefront in the new year

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One of the ways that I stay positive is by expressing gratitude. Especially in tough times, looking at the window of opportunity in the obstacle can keep us afloat.

During these High Holy Days, we examine the challenges, the successes and the gifts ha-Shem has given us in the past year.

We are living in a time filled with so much uncertainty and so many setbacks in so many areas, including COVID, politics, the economy, discrimination and climate change, to name a few.

An antidote to all of these uncertainties and challenges is to access what we do have and what we are grateful for, versus what we don’t have. For example, in Ukraine, many people have lost many of the necessities we enjoy, and often take for granted, such as food, water, clothing, housing and family.

Gratitude is one of the factors of being resilient, along with enjoying our lives and appreciating what we have.

And right now, my gratitude is focused on an opportunity to bring to fruition my vision of showing older adults the possibilities and opportunities in front of them: I’m happy to announce that I will be hosting a new podcast series on Rhode Island PBS called “Positive Aging,” starting Sept. 20. This will be Rhode Island public television’s first in-house podcast and will be heard globally online.

I’m grateful – and excited! – to be able to interview experts in the areas of health, wellness, relationships, lifestyle and business, and to discuss all of the opportunities that are new and within our reach in our golden years.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks wrote about the history of gratitude through the ages in an excellent article, “Giving Thanks,” posted at Aish.com.

Sacks’ closing paragraph had much meaning for me. He writes, “It [giving thanks] is also embedded in our collective name. The word Modeh, ‘I give thanks,’ comes from the same root as Yehudi, meaning ‘Jew.’ We acquired this name from Jacob’s fourth son, named by his mother Leah, who at his birth said, ‘This time I will thank God’ (Gen.29:35). Jewishness is thankfulness: not the most obvious definition of Jewish identity, but by far the most life-enhancing.”

Wishing you all peace, healing, happiness, success and love in the new year.

PATRICIA RASKIN, owner of Raskin Resources Productions, is a media host, coach and award-winning radio producer and business owner. She is on the board of directors of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence. She is a recipient of the Providence Business News 2020 Leaders and Achievers award.