Gratitude and Envy

I am extremely grateful I live close to quite a few members of my family. With many of us freed from a myriad of commitments thanks to the pandemic, I am grateful for the extra time we’ve had to spend together.  I do envy people who are able to spend time regularly with their grandchildren.  I haven’t seen mine in person now for seven months because they live outside the province. 

jessica lakeI am extremely grateful to have a beautiful safe home to live in but having made several visits now to friends who have lakeside cottages I do envy them having the opportunity to be outside in nature and living in relative isolation with few worries about encountering someone with COVID-19 as they enjoy the great outdoors.  

Yesterday Jana Pruden published an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail where she reflected that gratitude and envy may be the two dominant emotions people are feeling during the pandemic. 

chinese tour group at wag

Guiding a group from Winnipeg’s Chinese community at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. I am just to the left of the photo of Picasso. I have been laid off from my job at the art gallery because of the pandemic.  It is part of my pre-pandemic life I really miss. 

Sara Protasi author of The Philosophy of Envy, says envy is playing a heightened role in these strange pandemic times. We might envy countries like New Zealand who have done so well handling the pandemic their citizens have been able to return to a much more normal life.  If we have lost our jobs because of the pandemic we may envy those who haven’t. According to Sara Protasi, we may even envy our former selves and the life we had before the pandemic. 

Protasi says envy isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it can motivate us to make positive changes in our own lives or work for social change in our communities. 


My Dad on my first outdoor visit with him after months of not being able to see him. The pandemic has been very challenging for those who have had to live alone.

On the other hand, the pandemic has made people more grateful.  And I can understand that. Seeing how difficult it is for people, especially the elderly who have had to live alone during COVID-19, makes me very grateful for my partner who has shared my isolation.  

I am so grateful for the technology that allowed me to carry on virtual relationships with friends and family I couldn’t see in person.

parkway trail duff roblin

On the Duff Roblin Parkway Trail for the first time.

Having done so much cycling and walking for exercise during the pandemic, I have gained a sense of appreciation and gratitude for all the great bike paths and walking paths in my city.  

Having had more time to read and write the last few months has made me grateful for good authors and the inspiration of fellow writers.  

Gratitude and envy.  How have they played a role in your pandemic experience? 

Other posts………..

Where I’m From – Moose Lake

Memorable Final Day

A Book That Makes You Feel Insanely Hopeful

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