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As we approach the end of the year, it is important for us to take time out of our day to step back and reflect upon the many opportunities that we have been given. We can easily become consumed by the constant commotion of life and imminent deadlines, but we must never become so immersed in attempting to check off everything on our to-do list to the point where we lose sight of the big picture. The virtue of gratitude allows us to examine our present setting and establish an affirmation of goodness for the gifts that we have taken for granted. When we become caught up with the possibilities of “what could have been,” we can end up losing our sense of awareness of the actions that we have taken to grow ourselves into the people that we are now. Gratitude helps us focus on our contemporary surroundings and the events which have aligned to create the current state of our lives.

Acknowledging the achievement of character development encourages growth and ambition. A positive mindset, focused on growth, provides leeway for mistakes and understanding. We can try to be perfect at everything that we do, but we can never progress as individuals if we do not aim for goals that are outside of our comfort zone. At the end of the day, we can either let the past shut us off from new encounters or let it guide us to take an ambitious leap of faith. Even if what we had presumed to happen did not occur by our intuitive design, we should be open to alternative opportunities beyond our imagination. By embracing gratitude, we can become open to growth, learning, and new experiences.

-Diana

NEXT Scholar