On Gratitude and Patience - Sam Slade

Monday, November 23, 2020

 

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Sam Slade of Hilb

Generally, my columns are designed to offer insight into relevant trends, innovations, and the technical and compliance aspects of employer-provided benefits. Occasionally, I feel compelled to provide a more personal message. Today I’d like to share some thoughts on gratitude and patience.

For many of us, Thanksgiving is a cherished holiday. It’s less commercial and contrived than many others, non-denominational and universally applicable, end emphasizes time together with our closest family and friends. Most importantly, Thanksgiving celebrates the notion of gratitude.

Studies have shown that practicing gratitude improves our quality of life. The simple act of recognizing all that we have to be thankful for can lead to seven key benefits, according to Amy Morin, LCSW and author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do:

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1. Opens the door to more relationships

2. Improves physical health

3. Improves psychological health

4. Enhances empathy and reduces aggression

5. Improves sleep

6. Improves self-esteem

7. Increases mental strength

This year, of course, gratitude is more challenging to summon, and Thanksgiving will likely be very different from past years for most of us.

Which brings me to patience. I wasn’t blessed with much natural patience, and for the last 20 years, have viewed this as a personal improvement opportunity. I’ve worked consciously to become a more patient person. Part of this effort has involved learning what patience really is. 

I used to think it was just about waiting a long time without getting annoyed. But that’s not it. The root word in patience is pati, which is the Latin word for suffering. One of my favorite definitions of the word comes from my old Webster’s Dictionary: “The ability, habit or capacity of suffering evil, adversity or hardship with fortitude.”

Never do I remember a time when patience was so much in demand. The pandemic has wreaked havoc in every aspect of all of our lives. And we are now seeing startlingly high numbers of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths as the latest surge drives the virus into all corners of our country.

While this is a dark and difficult time, there is good news about two emerging COVID-19 vaccines with clinical trial success rates of about 95% and low/no side effects. So there is real reason to hope that we are nearing the end of this pandemic. It will still take months to manufacture and administer the vaccines, but there’s now light at the end of the tunnel.

I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving and hope you are all blessed with the gratitude and patience we need to see us through the remainder of the pandemic and emerge with our emotional well-being intact.

Sam Slade is Managing Director, Employee Benefits, at The Hilb Group of New England, where he delivers consulting and brokerage services to local employers. He has extensive experience in all aspects of employee benefits, including underwriting, plan design, communications, compliance, and analytics, with a particular focus on alternative funding and self-insurance. Sam lives in South Kingstown with his wife and three sons.  

Generally, my columns are designed to offer insight into relevant trends, innovations, and the technical and compliance aspects of employer-provided benefits. Occasionally, I feel compelled to provide a more personal message. Today I’d like to share some thoughts on gratitude and patience.

 
 

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