Michigan Actors Studio
Gratitude is in the Moment
As we approach the holiday season, I have been thinking a lot about gratitude. There are times when it is really difficult to be grateful: when we are scared, when times are uncertain, or when we have suffered a loss. When times are troubling and we ourselves may be troubled- is it even appropriate to look for reasons to be grateful?
For me, the answer is always "yes".
Acting reminds us that this moment is the only thing that is real- the rest is in the ether either in the past as a memory or in the future as a hope, a fear or a guess. Much like with acting, in life we cannot control what the moment presents us with, we can only respond truthfully to what is in front of us. Even in our darkest times, there is always something to be grateful for. Maybe it's a text from a friend, or a beautiful sunset. It could be the joy of listening to your favorite song, or reading a good book. I know for me, I'm grateful for the opportunity to still meet with my acting classes every week: the thrill of a beautiful breakthrough, the ability to forget about the troubles of the world even for just 5 minutes, while a beautiful scene unfolds in the Zoomisphere.
Being grateful doesn't erase the things that make us sad or worried or angry, and it shouldn't. These emotions are all natural reactions to something that crosses our boundaries. We need to be able to feel the effects of injustice-- this is how we know we have to do something about it. Being able to find gratitude in a moment doesn't take away from that- it gives us strength; the strength that is found in moments of peace and happiness and contentment. And we need that strength- to continue to fight for the world we envision. A world where we are able to be present with each other and share the things that truly matter to us, one moment at a time.