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Nov 25

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year has been hard.

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Globally, we've seen the devastating impacts of the coronavirus. At best, we have had to change the way we work and play, becoming uncomfortably close with loneliness. Many of us have lost clients and jobs... or at worst, even lost friends and family. Amid the fear, we found it hard to feel peace, joy, and hope.

Here in the US, we have fought injustice and inequality: a painful, messy, necessary transformation. The rift we've exposed with our neighbors, friends, and loved ones is a fresh wound. Each time healing begins, something comes along and rips it open again. Amid the anger, it has been hard to be kind, gracious, and empathetic.

This year has seen enough to overwhelm anyone: economic turmoil, raging wildfires, terrible hurricanes, global leadership crisis, and civil unrest. Amid the chaos, finding something to be thankful for can be hard.

But you know what? Doing the right thing is usually hard.

My life has repeatedly reinforced this lesson: Difficulty always precedes greatness, but greatness never follows a difficulty abandoned. We are responsible to persevere through the obstacles life puts in front of us; To do the hard thing.

It can be hard to feel hopeful, but without hope, we are hopeless. It can be hard to be kind, but without kindness, it is impossible to heal together. It can be hard to give thanks, but celebrating the present and experiencing joy become much harder without gratitude.

One common Thanksgiving tradition is to take turns around the dinner table, sharing what we are thankful for. The younger me scoffed at this cliche exercise and its seemingly disingenuous answers. With age, however, my perspective has changed.

We are all thankful for our family and friends. We are all thankful for the food we eat. We are all thankful for the air we breathe. But how often do we say these things? How often do we recognize what we are genuinely and sincerely grateful for? How often do we practice gratitude?

Practicing gratitude yields so many incredible benefits: blocking negative emotions, reducing depression, creating more meaningful relationships, and magnifying happiness are just a few. Gratitude, it seems, could be the therapy many of us need this year.

It's within our reach, but we must take action. This Thanksgiving, I invite you to share what you are grateful for. Share it in person, over the phone, on social media, or say it out loud. No hashtag, no contrived marketing effort: The five minutes you spend may spark the change you need.

Allow me to start.

I'm grateful for my wife, Elise. She is my backbone, my heart, and my why. I'm grateful for my kids, Willow and Olivia. They are not only joyful: they are joy. I'm grateful for my mentor, Chris. He inspires me to improve continuously, to reach for greatness in everything I do. I'm grateful for our team here at The Futur. Nothing is impossible for them, and I'm honored to have them by my side.

I'm grateful for you. Yep, that's right: you. Because of you, we're able to try new things. We're able to fail. We're able to build an incredible community together. Every video you watch, every comment you leave, every purchase you make, every story you share may seem insignificant, but rest assured: it means the world to us.

Sincerely, thank you.

There's so much more I could write, but it's your turn. Please don't forget to practice gratitude today. From all of us here at The Futur, we hope you have a warm, happy Thanksgiving and a healthy, joyful holiday season.

Find hope. Be kind. Give thanks. Even if it's hard.

—Ben Burns

I asked the rest of our team at The Futur what they were thankful for. Here is what they wrote:

I'm super grateful for my husband and 2 daughters. Even after all the horrible events, ugliness that is being expressed by people, sadness that is surrounding us all, they keep me happy and at peace. I'm glad we are all safe and healthy. I'm also grateful for the friends I have. No matter the amount of time that goes by, I can pick up the phone and have a fantastic conversation, just like when we were in high school. Even though my in-person bubble is small, my distanced bubble is huge and I'm truly thankful. I'm thankful for being able to work through this pandemic. This bit of normalcy keeps me sane.

— Monica Martin, Head of HR and Bookkeeping

I am grateful for my family, friends and co-workers, who have been vital in keeping me sane this year. I’m grateful for the roof over my head, good movies, good books, and the internet that has helped keep me in contact with people, even as we are stuck inside. I’m grateful for the community that is The Futur. To be able to interact with people all around the world, even in a time as precarious as this, and to know that what we do is helping people. I’m grateful for cat videos on Instagram, and last, but certainly not least, I am grateful for pizza. I feel that needs no further explanation.

— Stewart Schuster, Video Producer

I am grateful for both tears and smiles in my life. Whatever happens, it makes me feel alive. My son's laughter wakes me up each morning. He waves at me before running down the stairs, after stealing my phone so he can dance to some song on Soundcloud. He's almost 2.

I am thankful for my relationship with my father. It's been a bumpy road these past 17 years, but we brought it back. I also keep my brother and sister close to my heart. We are all different, but at our core, we are very much alike.

My godfather and godmother are precious to me. They support me, no questions asked. My friends, they accept me. And that is what one needs sometimes. Just being accepted.

We are a small team here at The Futur. That's what makes this special. I've learned a lot and still am. I couldn't ask for better people to work with and learn from.

Lastly, I cherish you, mother. I can only imagine how you would be around my son.
Smiles and tears, it's all about feeling alive.

— Alex Burlui, Marketing Coordinator

Hello, internet stranger. Greg Gunn here. We’re supposed to write what we’re grateful for in this mighty blog post. But I’m not going to do that.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful. For all the wonderful people and opportunities in my life. My health and my anxious sense of sanity. Especially during this miserable turd of a year.

All I want to say, to you reading this right now, is thank you and that I’m proud of you. The thank you is for your support of The Futur. Spiritually, financially, or otherwise. Without you, kind stranger, we would be nothing but a bunch of lonely dummies talking amongst ourselves.

And I’m proud of you because if you’re reading this, it means you’re taking steps to better yourself. Or your business. Or you just like to read lengthy design blogs.

Whatever the case may be, good for you. And I hope you’re able to take a moment to appreciate that fact. Maybe even give yourself a hug while you’re at it. Be well.

— Greg Gunn, Creative Director

Hope this finds you well. I wasn’t sure what to write about and if I should be serious or funny. I’ll leave the serious with the more serious people. I’m thankful for routine, I’m thankful for self-care, I’m thankful for work, I’m thankful for weights, I’m thankful for all the little beautiful things in life that pass me by every day.

I hope you find some things today to be thankful for, and to not just use today to be thankful, but to use more days to be thankful. I appreciate you and hope you have a thankful life.

— Ricky Lucas, Cinematographer & Editor

This Thanksgiving feels more needed than ever. The need to appreciate what we have, rather than what we've had to give up. And to appreciate our loved ones, even if we haven't felt their hugs for far too long.

I'm so thankful for my family and friends for always finding ways to feel connected, no matter how far apart we are. And for my partner, Dewi, for continuously pushing me to shoot for the moon, even when I don't believe in myself.

I'm thankful for you, Futur fam. Every Instagram like, comment, anecdote and message of gratitude makes me so proud to be able to share the wisdom and teachings of our Futur team.

I hear you, and I'm with you.

Not only am I thankful for The Futur, I'm honored to work for a company that rises to every occasion and strives to be better than we were before.

— Elle Money, Social Media Marketer

I am thankful for here and now. For you and I. For this world we share. Another day. Another opportunity. Another chance to write a new page in life. I'm thankful that you are all part of my story, and I'm thankful to be part of yours.

— Matthew Encina, Chief Content Officer

I’m grateful for the people in my life. My wife, who literally saves kids’ lives, my family who I love AF, and my loyal friends who are there, through thick and thin.

My coworkers at The Futur have become a second family to me, especially during this pandemic. I’m thankful for having this opportunity to work with a super cool, super smart team.

I’m thankful to work with this awesome community. I’ve met many of you from across the world in Spain, Italy, Poland, UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Canada and beyond. It becomes so real when we meet in person, and to be greeted like we’ve been friends forever. When I just started working at The Futur, I didn’t expect what we were doing would connect me to so many great people. Thank you. YOU are the reason!

— Mark Contreras, Producer

Hey y’all, I’m grateful to be doing what I like in a place I love with people I admire. For all the things I’ve learned from working here because otherwise I wouldn’t have made it through this pandemic without adopting the mindset tip from Errol Gerson. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

For my generous second family here at The Futur, for looking out for little ol’ me and always lending a hand when I need it. I’m thankful for my work hubby Ricky for being like a bigger brother to me and for sharing his delicious cooking recipes with me.

I’m grateful to still be able to connect with family, cousins, and friends because they makes me feel at home without physically being there. I’m ETERNALLY grateful for my parents for bringing me sweet Houston comfort food when they visited.

Lastly I’m grateful y’all appreciate the livestreams because y’all have no idea how much chaos goes into it. Thank y’all for doing everything that you because this wouldn’t be possible without y’all.

— Jona Garcia, Cinematographer & Editor

I’ll be honest: the start of this year kicked my butt down the street and back. I felt really low lows. I cried a lot. I wanted to rid the world of the doom and gloom we were all feeling. Gratitude was never on my mind.

Today, though, I’m reminded of all the positives, and I’m feeling pretty darn grateful. For my family and friends, who I’d be nothing without. Their love and support keeps me going, and every second with them is a blessing. For my fiancé, who always pushes me to be a better version of myself and makes me laugh uncontrollably. For my cats, Jake and Lucy, who give the best snuggles.

I'm grateful for the friends I’ve made here at The Futur, who have taught me so much, it kind of blows my mind the amount I’ve learned from them. (Seriously, thank you, you guys.) And for you, our Futur fam, for your never-ending support, encouragement and positivity.

I’m thankful for good food (mainly soup and rice & beans), and the greatest album released this year: Positions by Ariana Grande.

Even though we’ve been tested over and over again this year, I hope today we remember all the good that’s right in front of us, the good we can give to each other no matter the distance, and the good we can bring into the new year. Big virtual hugs to you all.

— Nathalia Iole, Copywriter

Ben Burns

Ben Burns is a designer that helps growing businesses increase revenue, expand brand awareness, and earn happier customers. Currently, he serves in a dual role as both the Chief Operating Officer of The Futur and as Digital Creative Director at Blind.