Columnist Andrea Ayvazian: An honest and heartfelt list of thanks

Last November, as Thanksgiving approached, I wrote a column that included a rather haphazard list of things I was grateful for. In gener...



Last November, as Thanksgiving approached, I wrote a column that included a rather haphazard list of things I was grateful for. In general, I don’t respond well to these kinds of lists, which are often found on Hallmark cards, so I tried to make my list authentic, not silly or sentimental.

I am grateful for many, many things in my life, in our community and in the world. So this year I’m turning last year’s one-off column into what could become a tradition. (If I get a flood of messages from readers saying, “This is stupid, never do it again”, it will be not become a tradition.)

So here is an honest and heartfelt list of thanks. Please note that my list is not exhaustive, nor in meaningful order, but it is sincere.

Let me start by saying: Thank you, reader, for reading on.

Thank you to all the teachers of all the classes in all the schools in all the cities everywhere.

Thank you David Narkewicz for your leadership during very difficult times.

Thank you to all the clergy for serving, supporting and leading your religious communities during these past two difficult years.

Thank you to the lawyers, the jury and everyone who helped put Derrick Chauvin behind bars.

Thank you to all employers who provide adequate paid family leave to their employees. And thanks to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for his handsome modeling and clever lines when he was criticized for his own paternity leave.

Thank you to my neighbors who still gather on the porches and in the backyards on lawn chairs for mutual support.

Thanks for the independent bookstores.

Thank you for the Special Olympics.

Thanks to all the firefighters.

Thanks to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, imperfect but honest people.

Thanks to Dr Jill Biden for being kind and sane.

Thanks to Douglass Emhoff, second gentleman of the United States, for being second and gentleman.

Thank you to all our letter carriers and newspaper deliverers.

Thanks for Childs Park.

Thank you to all the gay, lesbian and trans athletes.

Thanks for Ibram X. Kendi, Sanjay Gupta, Greta Thunberg, Amanda Gorman, Jo Comerford, LeBron James and Liz Cheney.

Thank you for the prayer of the breath.

Thank you to all dog owners who keep their dogs on a leash.

Thank you for the change of seasons because the seasons are still changing.

Thanks to Bernie Sanders for continuing to be both outraged and hopeful.

Thanks for the River Valley Co-op, now in Easthampton too.

Thanks for Rachel Maddow.

Thank you for the COVID vaccination pop-up clinic that appeared at Pulaski Park this fall.

Thanks to everyone who voted on November 2nd. Thanks to those who voted for the first time.

Thank you for Alden Baptist Church and St. Mark’s Armenian Church, both in Springfield.

Thanks to everyone who believes in science and to everyone who doesn’t make up their own facts.

Thanks to Nancy Pelosi for being uncompromising.

Thanks to every professional conference that cancels their plans to meet in Texas.

Thank you to my husband, Michael Klare, for tirelessly trying to prevent a nuclear war between the United States and China.

Thank you to this community for all the acts of benevolence, for its unfailing generosity, for having found the means to cling to hope, to raise prayers and to imagine a transformed world. Thank you for the deep goodness in your tired hearts. Thank you friends and neighbors. Bless you all.

The Rev. Dr Andrea Ayvazian of Northampton is Associate Pastor at Alden Baptist Church in Springfield. She is also the founder and director of the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Columnist Andrea Ayvazian: An honest and heartfelt list of thanks
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