During this time of crisis created by coronavirus I’ve noticed an unusual and very positive development happen across the UK. People have started expressing gratitude.

I don’t think we British are a very grateful nation. I get to travel to lots of different nations and regions around the world. Sadly I find the British to be one of the least grateful people. We constantly criticize others, love to find fault, and usually find reasons to complain about what we don’t have. Rarely do we express thanks for what we do have.

But in the early weeks of coronavirus lockdown, I’ve heard so many people expressing gratitude. And it’s not only for the NHS staff and other keyworkers who are doing all the hard work and risking their lives by going out to work. Yes, there’s been plenty of gratitude expressed that recognises their work and their sacrifices. But it’s also in so may other little things. British people have started to be more grateful for what they have.

When I call people to check how they are, often they respond by listing off the things they have, and the reasons they are grateful.

I could be far worse. We’re really grateful because we have…

  • … a garden to be able to sit outside and enjoy the sun.
  • … a park just over the road where we can walk once a day.
  • … plenty of food (and toilet roll) at home.
  • … helpful neighbours who dropped off a food package.
  • … good WiFi that allows us to video call with family and friends.
  • … good health – none of us in this household are sick.

This is such a departure from the norm. Usually Brits find reasons to complain about so many things. Now I find even the grumpiest of Brits are recognising all the reasons they have to be so thankful.

I’m grateful that during this time of crisis, my nation is starting to rediscover all the reasons it has to be grateful. I pray the coronavirus crisis ends quickly, but long may the season of gratitude remain…

Mark Williamson works as a director of One Rock. He’s an experienced leadership trainer, author of biographies on John Wesley and William Wilberforce, and is also passionate about praying for London. He enjoys good films, good food, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna. You can follow him on Twitter @markonerock.

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