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The Connection Between Gratitude and Struggle


By David Bow

Middle School Dean of Students, SkyView Academy

I have been thinking about the connection between gratitude and struggle. I have come to the conclusion that we are most grateful for the things in our life that took hard work and perseverance to achieve. When things come too easy, we take them for granted. 

As a school, we embrace the struggle. We want students to work hard, with the support of the teachers and parents, to unlock knowledge and new learning. We celebrate growth and achievement. We affirm and shout out the accomplishments of students, staff, and the community. SVA is a great place to make mistakes and try new things. I am so grateful to be part of this community because I see and experience the struggle and hard work that goes into making every day here successful. 

I think we can all do a better job recognizing and celebrating our struggles, growth, and achievement. A student told me a story last year. When talking about her favorite book, this student proudly stated, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” When asked why, she stated, ”Because I had a hard time with reading, and when I told people I was going to read that book, they all told me it was too hard. It took me a while, but I proved them wrong.” This story has stuck in my head for a year. This 12-year-old kid understood something profound about gratitude and perseverance that some people never learn. The struggle magnified the achievement. 

As we wrap up the first semester and 2022, remember the struggles and the growth. Celebrate the victories and the people who pushed you and supported you. Reflect on all the hard work, the ups and downs, and remember that there is no growth without struggle. Be grateful for not only the kindness, love, support, and beauty in your life but also for the things that challenge us and push us because those are the things that forge us into the people we become. 

As a final thought, I challenge you to reach out to someone important in your life and share your gratitude with them. Tell them the impact they have had on you. Tell them how their love and support have helped you persevere and overcome obstacles. Do not take people for granted.

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