I recently shared a quote with the CCBC community that I think captures the essence of Thanksgiving: “The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” Although political divisiveness, war, and the remnants of COVID-19 seem to have set the world around us on a collision course with disaster, I borrow this phrase to encourage us to look towards the many ways in which we are blessed, both at our colleges and in our own lives. The very word “Thanksgiving” connotes a season of affirmation, of respite, of a time to celebrate both our differences and our common bonds rather than debating or fighting over them.

My Thanksgiving message is a simple one. I encourage each of us to enjoy the Thanksgiving break as a “time out” of sorts, far removed from offices and classrooms. Eat lots of turkey; go for a hike; drown yourself in football games; or just veg out on the couch to watch old movies in your pajamas with a quart sized bowl of buttered popcorn in your lap. Whatever your family’s Thanksgiving Day traditions might be, I hope your day is joyful and fulfilling, and that each of you, is well fed and well sustained by the love and fellowship of friends and family. For a few days, just enjoy being alive, alert, and enthusiastic.