PRofoundly fortunate

      39 Comments on PRofoundly fortunate
Word cloud from affirmyourlife.com

Word cloud from affirmyourlife.com

While events can have a real effect on a campus’s atmosphere and mood, this particular semester has seen extraordinary highs and lows. At Hofstra University, our September began just ahead of hosting the most-viewed presidential debate in history. The excitement on campus was electric. Students were involved on all levels of activities surrounding the presidential campaign.

Then, three weeks ago, the election’s surprising outcome hit campuses around the country hard. Many students reveled in victory but the majority of young people were disappointed; some even claimed to be horrified and fearful. I can say without partisan prejudice that the overwhelming majority of my public relations students were shocked and even angry, and many were seeking reassurance that everything would be OK. The Thanksgiving holiday was a welcome pause, giving us time to reflect on how fortunate we are despite feelings of gloom many have shared.

I hope young people recognize that by United Nations estimates, 13 percent of the world’s population goes hungry every day. A quarter of all people live in substandard housing. Another 25 percent live under communist or otherwise oppressive governments. About 17 percent are unable to read or write. Even in the United States, seven percent of high school students drop out, and while two-thirds of high school graduates go on to college, just 40 percent earn a degree. About 14.5 percent of Americans live below the poverty line. Nineteen 19 percent have some kind of disability, according to the Census Bureau’s broad definition of “disability.”

I’d like to suggest that despite life’s concerns and disappointments, we are undeniably lucky when you consider others’ disadvantages. We can’t be sure of how OK our new government will be, but I have enough faith in our system and the power of PR to rally public opinion. We’ll survive what’s ahead, and those newly elected and appointed leaders will discover limits to dramatic change.

We must also be cognizant of our place in the world and appreciate that we live relatively well, have far more opportunity than most, and therefore are truly and even profoundly fortunate. Indeed, we should be very, very thankful. Your thoughts?

39 thoughts on “PRofoundly fortunate

  1. A. Murphy

    Disappointment is one of life’s inevitabilities. Sometimes we are too quick to tell people to get past it or that things can be worse when sometimes it can be more powerful to recognize the fear and allow people the time and provide a safe space for them to do so. Lately, people who have expressed fear and concern over the recent election and the outcome have been met with criticism. I believe that if we, as a society, really want to practice what we preach, we need to recognize that people’s concerns are valid and everyone is entitled to their opinion and feelings.

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  2. ari okonofua

    Despite the loss we took in the election season, we are a blessed nation. My family is from a third-world company and they do not have half the opportunities that we do – so for that I feel blessed. Thanks for this great post!

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  3. Vanessa

    I do agree that we have many opportunities available to us in comparison to other countries. I believe when we look at the grand scheme of things, we really should not complain as we are in a position many hope to be.

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  4. Daniela Gagliano

    It’s not hard to lose track of what surrounds us. As PR majors, we are constantly bombarded with external news and what’s going on in the world, but it’s easy for us to disregard it in the midst of our own problems. Thanksgiving is an important reminder for us to take a look at what we have to be grateful for, as opposed to what we need next.

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  5. Daniela Gagliano

    It’s not hard to slip into a selfish mind state where your main focus is yourself. A lot of times we get so caught up in what’s going on in our own lives, we forget about the rest of the world…even as PR majors who are attacked by external news all the time. It’s important to take a step back and show thanks for everything we have instead of focusing on the negatives.

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  6. SShak

    With all the anxiety about what’s to come, it is definitely nice to take a step back and remember all that we have to be fortunate of. Recently a friend’s passing reminded me that we can not worry too much about the future constantly and must be sure to enjoy the moments as they are happening.

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  7. Aisha B

    This election has put fear in a lot of minds and hearts around the country. Who would’ve thought someone like Donald Trump would win the presidency for United States of America ? I do agree with having to be thankful despite the outcome of the election. This election has taught most that we should appreciate what we have because there are others who are going through worst . At this point , we have no other option than to give the president elect a slim chance.

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  8. Diana Ziskin

    I apologize if this is a double post from me, I’m not sure if my original post published the first time due to losing service.

    I strongly agree with this. We as a people have a habit of concentrating on the negative in our lives, instead of focusing on the good we have. We are all very lucky, if you have an income of $32,000 a year, you are actually in the top 1% of wealth in the world.

    I’ve noticed those who have experienced terrible tragedies are usually the ones who have a better outlook on life and realize what good things they have. This weekend, I listened to a friend complain how hard life is because she has a lot of loans after completing her PhD program in her dream field, while my friend who lost her 13 year old brother in a freak accident tried to make her feel better, and tried to focus on all the good going on even with that set back. We forget how good we have it, and need to learn to concentrate on the good in our lives, and appreciate what we have instead of on what we don’t. We do that during Thanksgiving, but in a week, when everyone starts thinking about what presents they want for the holiday season, that mind set vanishes.

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  9. Nikita Hakels

    I agree to this strongly. We as human beinga tend to forget all the blessings in our life in times of sorrow. I feel fortunate that i have the opportunity to study in New York, a place where dreams come true, a place where everyone wants to be. Sometimes when everything is falling apart i tend to complain which is absolutely wrong, instead we should count our blessings and look forward to the good things coming our way. I always go by this quote “everything happens for a reason.” So whether it is good or a bad it comes in your life to give you experience and lessons.

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  10. Caprice Oliver

    I am forever grateful for my country, I could be living in a third world country. Americans do a lot of complaining but we are actually very fortunate. These last two years have been a dream. I have been able to move across the country to the city where dreams are made. In six months time I will be a Masters graduate and it is an extraordinary accomplishment. The odds have been stacked against me all my life but I continue to break them and for that I am forever grateful

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  11. Jessica Mohen

    This semester was uncharacteristic of the usual fall semester for Hofstra students. The debate took a toll on everyone, students and faculty, causing a hype and then slump. The fall calendar also was different than prior years, following a secular schedule. I think these two differences with the addition of the election itself drained the student body and professors. Luckily the election has not caused violence and physical harm to our community, as it has throughout the country. We technically are all “okay,” but even reassurance cannot cure the anxiety provoked by this election.

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  12. Anna Baxter

    It’s always important to be thankful for what you have but also be conscious of what others don’t have. For Thanksgiving, my family had to set a rule to not talk about politics, mostly because we were all afraid of ruining the first time we were all together since Summer. Rather than arguing over who is Republican and who is Democratic and who is a “snowflake” as my Grandfather likes to say, my family played games against each other and enjoyed how lucky we are to have one another. If we spend too much time thinking about what we don’t have or what is going wrong in our lives, we lose sight of who we are and all of the great things we, and those we love, have accomplished.

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  13. Maria Zaldivar

    I completely agree. We should be thankful and understand that although everyone has their problems we are in a certain position of privilege that will allow us to be a support system for those less fortunate than us. It is also important to remember this blessings throughout the year and not only over the holidays.

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  14. Michael James

    I think it is rather easy to become consumed with “first world problems” when you live in America. Every individual will endure their own trials and tribulations, none worse then another and yes, the current operations of our government are tough to stomach, and yes Donald Trump is the biggest Presidential wildcard we have ever seen. However, it was very fulfilling to take a step back from the dark hole that politics has become and cherish family and all the blessings we have living in this country. From police violence, to the Middle East, to Standing Rock it does feel as if our government has become more oppressive and more powerful then the decades leading to 2016, but we must remember that each day we wake up and have the liberty to choose what we do, what we want, and how we act. This fundamental right will be what advances this country, no one man can bring change from behind a desk. This is up to the American People.

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  15. Jordyn Miller

    It is very easy to often become caught up in our own problems. While it is very important to recognize and attempt to deal with our problems, we also must remain empathetic and understanding of others. This is why it is so important to give back to the community. One must always understand that there are always others that need help. It is very humbling and very eye-opening.

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  16. Bernie Dennler

    I’m afraid for once in my life I might be a little bit more pessimistic. I do find hope seeing that 2 million more voters cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton against the Donald Trump sideshow act, but my fear remains. Too many individuals in power have failed to stand up to this highly unusual man. They seem to believe he can be controlled and contained. I posit that Donald Trump is unlike any individual to ever assume the presidency and that the hope that our system of checks and balances will deter radical action may be us in denial about the desperation of our current situation. Our democracy has survived because no one in a position of power has ever made a concerted effort to undermine it, yet here we have a president-elect who claims the popular vote was rigged by “millions” of “illegal” voters. He himself is a marketing expert and survived dozens of scandals that would have sunk any other presidential candidate. I am thankful for the opportunities this country has given me, but I do not think now is the time to give thanks and act as if everything is going be okay. The system has failed. It won’t be what saves us. Will good PR save us? Not on its own. This isn’t going to be like anything we’ve ever faced in this country before. Now is the time to buckle up and get ready because the worst is yet to come.

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  17. Marielle McCartin

    I agree that we should be very thankful for what this country gives us and all the opportunities we have. Growing up in the US is a privilege and I have faith that this country will grow into a great nation once again and we will be able to come together to be a unified country soon enough. The election is over, and people must realize that it is time to work together for peace and for a better country as a whole, not divided. Many people in other countries do not have the opportunities we are given as citizens of the US, so we must remember how lucky we are to grow up in such a great country.

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  18. Adam Engel

    I am blessed for what we have in america today. We are able to live our lives any way we want to. Three weeks ago we faced a tragedy in the U.S. Well, just because we faced a tragedy doesn’t mean that we need to protest and start chaos. We need to unite as one because in other countries their people have no say, so we need to look at it in a way that we have freedom. Being friendly and kind to everyone and uniting as one will help our grudge towards the Whitehouse. The more everyone is thankful for what we have the better off we will be.

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  19. Adam Engel

    I am blessed for what we have in america today. We are able to live our lives any way we want to. Three weeks ago we faced a tragedy in the U.S. Well, just because we faced a tragedy doesn’t mean that we need to protest and start chaos. We need to unite as one because in other countries their people have no say, so we need to look at it in a way that we have freedom. Being friendly and kind to everyone and uniting as one will help our grudge towards the Whitehouse. The more everyone is thankful for what we have the better off we will be.

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  20. Cam Keough

    It is very important to be thankful for how much we do have and it is too easy to lose sight of that. People in this country to often think that their lives are horrible or so difficult and it is too often over something that is so insignificant. This thanksgiving we all overate, especially myself. However I took this holiday to focus on being thankful for not what I have as much as who I have in my life. The people in my life are far more important the things i have.

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  21. Josh Solomon

    I completely agree. We are a first world nation with first world issues. Yes we may have our short comings but like Michelle Obama said we are still the greatest country. A country where you choose your lot in life it is not given to you or forced upon you. We must be grateful for the quality of life we have and are able to live.

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  22. Stephanie Adomavicius

    I completely agree with this post. Although daily setbacks, whether they be personal, national or worldwide, can damper our spirit and sometimes only allow us to see the negative, we are in fact truly lucky. I was one of those people upset by the outcome of the election, but now it all seems so long ago. and we must move on. We are incredibly fortunate to live in this country, be educated, and have more awareness of the world than some countries, and even some states. In the end, it will all be okay and life moves forward.

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  23. Stacyann Nathan

    I am so grateful the country I live in. I appreciate the opportunities. Even though many people are skeptical or worried, I am optimistic. When I think about the U.S and how fortunate we are compared to countries like Cuba and India, I am grateful. I think this time of year brings out the best in people because we are reminded of what is important and that is love, family, and unity.

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  24. Arianna du Manoir

    We are very fortunate to live in the kind of country that we do. I may not be the most patriotic citizen and there are many things in the U.S. that I do not agree with as I was raised by parents from different cultures, but there are many others in the world whose circumstances are far worse than the ones we are currently dealing with. While there most likely will be many obstacles ahead, this will not be the country’s downfall either, we are going to make it through this just fine. As an individual, the best thing one can do is show kindness to all those around them, no matter the background, and to speak up for those who have no voice and are feeling fearful for their well being. More than anything this country needs unity again, and that can’t happen unless people make the effort to give out their hand to their neighbors.

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  25. Jennifer OMalley

    I still feel just as disappointed and horrified as I did the moment that Trump was announced as the president-elect. Sure, I am grateful for many of the opportunities afforded to me, simply because I live in the U.S.A., rather than in a country like Syria for instance. I am certainly not grateful to my county for having a hand in atrocities around the world or for electing an inexperienced man who plans to continue the destruction and death, even going as far as to advocate war crimes. I’m not thankful for the confused citizens of this country that are so concerned with holding on to their privilege that they will vote to oppress others thinking (irrationally) that this is the way to go about keeping their comfy status as the dominant race. I find it disgusting. Of course, I am thankful to be able to wake up without starving or fearing for my life on a daily basis. I have been to many other areas of the world and felt guilty for how much I have that others would never even dream of having. I don’t need a false holiday like Thanksgiving to remind me that I am way better off than many. This year all I could think about on Thanksgiving was Standing Rock. I’m thankful to the protesters who are there risking their lives for an incredibly noble and right cause. I’m thankful for forward-thinking Americans who aren’t giving up even though so many citizens of our country and our upcoming administration are threatening to undo years of progress. There is plenty that I have to be grateful for, but I don’t forget for a moment how much change is needed and how much is at risk right now for others. Those Americans who are unable to finish school, who live below the poverty line, who are among the 600,000+ homeless in our country today, need us to never forget. I take nothing for granted, but I have a hard time celebrating my privilege that I don’t deserve anymore than the next person.

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  26. Michael Esposito

    After reading this post I definitely feel very grateful to live in this country and to have the opportunities that I have. When you broke it down and really showed how little the rest of the world has it opened my eyes. While there are a lot of people who are fearful of what’s to come in our country it’s important to take a step back for a second and appreciate what this country has that others may not have.

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  27. Justin Chupungco

    Many people in society can forget how lucky we are in our privileges and what we have in life. People worry about the future, and about what they have to lose. They lose sight of how thankful we should be, giving less attention to those in poverty, uneducated, starving, truly suffering in life, and cannot experience the things we can experience. Though Thanksgiving is a time to be with friends and family, evaluate and give thanks to what we have, people need to do this all the time, not just on Thanksgiving. We should seek to be unified rather than consistently conflicting one another, and ignoring the less fortunate. Though many people fear for the future, especially with the results of the election, a unified group of people is more powerful, and can cause more change than a conflicting group, that only looks out for themselves.

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  28. Khaleik Akerson

    With the results of this election, I am currently in the phase of hoping Trump would do what’s right. Unfortunately hope is all we have left to hold on. On other note, as humans we tend to forget about others that are not constantly in our eyesight. There’s someone out in the world who may be struggling more than I can imagine. We have to be more thankful for things we have already.

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  29. Anthony Pugliese

    Could not have said it better myself, we all have a tremendous amount to be thankful for. A rollercoaster ride could be a way to describe 2016, but that is what makes us stronger. As yet another holiday season has begun, I myself have realized that I have a tremendous amount to be thankful for. It easier said than done, but not letting the small stuff tamper your day is a major key. We certainly all will survive and being positive along the way will help.

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  30. Brianna Beaumont

    Too many people in the world have little to be thankful for, in result I am very lucky to have many things to be thankful for. It was nice to take a little break from the election drama over Thanksgiving break. It is easy to forget that other people have worse circumstances to live in than our own.Even though it may be bad to have Trump as president, we still have a lot to be thankful for.

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  31. Emily DiLaura

    What a refreshing way to view our current situation in this world at the perfect time of year. I think many people went home this Thanksgiving fearful of what was to come from family members, friends, and even strangers, but at the end of the day we have much to appreciate. Although there are hard time here in the United States, we are still very well off. With the recent death of Fidel Castro, we once again see how well off and lucky we have been in the United States as those from Cuban decent rejoice in this dictators final end. I think it’s easy to lose sight of how fortunate we are to have things like clean water and an education system that actually makes a difference. Sometimes you have to step back from the crazy political world and see how far we have come and how much we have.

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  32. Tai Davis

    We do have a lot to be thankful even if we do not see it. Even though Thanksgiving had been seen to be a celebration of what would now be looked down on in the case of Christopher Columbus, that is not what this holiday is about. Thanksgiving is about coming together to give thanks for family and friends instead of material things. While many might not see education as needed, many should learning from your post and strove for greatness.

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  33. Ashley Pina

    I agree wholeheartedly with this post. After the election I felt helpless. I was fortunate enough to travel with my friends to Thailand and seeing the people there made me feel guilty for ever feeling helpless. The people of Thailand are appreciative of the little they have. One of our tour guides worked 2 jobs and gave most of her earnings to her parents and she was happy to work and support her family that it made my worries seem so trivial.

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  34. Victoria Conway

    In life it is very easy to get caught up in our personal drama. We so often adapt the “woe is me” attitude when things do not go the way we would like. However, as you said, we are extremely lucky. When I actually take a moment to be present and reflect on everything that I have in my life I realize it is a wonderful one. I try and be more mindful of all the good that surrounds me. As long as I am healthy and so is my family there is nothing I cannot handle.

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  35. Katie Spoleti

    I think that despite all of the negativity and loss 2016 has brought, as a country, we should never let the bad outweigh the good. Even though many of us are upset about the outcome of the election, I know that we have to accept what has happened and try to move forward with positivity and hopefulness for the future. I’ve always loved Thanksgiving because it is a time to remember what we have, how far we’ve come and how blessed we are (both as individuals and a nation). As Americans, we are known embrace change and opportunity. In life, I believe what ever you send out into the world you’ll inevitably get back. So, if we send out messaged of positivity then I know that a positive outcome is what we’ll be given in return. I agree that now more than ever is a time to be thankful that all we do have and we can’t let one upset hinder us from all of the good things that have happened this year.

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  36. Amina

    First, thank you for posting this. It was a great reminder about how blessed we truly are. Despite the recent upsetting events that have occurred in America, we are a lot more fortunate than many other people all over the global. I remember when I would visit Morocco, as a 9 year old kid, my grandparents took in two girls(who were also my age) who worked for my grandparents as housekeepers. Their families were so poor that they needed to work to help their families survive. My grandparents, who were amazing people, treated them like their own children. Those girls became apart of our family. At a young age, I realized how many people were less fortunate than us, here in the United States. We are blessed.

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  37. Arthena Sherwood

    It’s hard to be thankful about the present when you are scared about your future. Our country has taken five steps forward, only to take 10 steps back with Donald Trump. It’s very hard for me to give him a chance when I know he will not a progressive leader. For example, he believes in the classic Nixon rhetoric of restoring “Law and Order” (which never worked) and he also stands strongly AGAINST gun control. Meanwhile, there was yet another mass shooting last night in New Orleans. Depressing.

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  38. Justin McCue

    I agree with this completely. We as a country overall are very lucky, even though there are those in our country that do suffer. With all that has been going on lately, and people lashing out at each other over the unrest of the election, I think it is important that everyone sits down and thinks of what they are thankful for, as well as think of how they can help others. Even just a simple “hello” or a smile, and even just offering to help someone with a small task can go a long way in changing someone’s day. Everyone has a back story that is not always completely visible to the public eye. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Professor Morosoff!

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