I apologize to our international readers if you find this posting a bit “North American”- centered. Americans are celebrating our annual Thanksgiving holiday; Canada gets theirs done before hockey season hits its full stride. This tradition has it roots in the early colonies, which can cause controversy in some circles. It is my favorite holiday, and I will explain why I urge every person to celebrate it.
Each of us has difficulty in their personal and professional life; it is easy at times to get discouraged. Most of us also have people who encourage us through these difficulties. They might be family members, friends, teachers, mentors, bosses, clients, religious leaders, or that stranger you chatted up while waiting for a delayed flight. Thanksgiving to me is more about remembering them than a high-calorie meal and a day of watching sports on television.
Some years ago, our pastor gave us a homework assignment to write a letter of thanks to one of those “encouragers.” I wrote to an old co-worker who taught me about much more than double- enveloping work gears. I had not seen him, or his wonderful wife, in years. Their Christmas card did not contain any acknowledgement of the note, not that this was the point of the exercise. A year later there was no card; the following year the wife’s card came from a memory care facility. A few months later, their daughter wrote of her mother’s death; and added that my note of thanks had been a cherished possession for them during their medical problems.
So, loyal readers, I give you that same assignment: let someone know you are grateful they are or were part of your life. Do it now, before the opportunity to communicate with them closes entirely. No need to write a flowery letter; an e-mail will be just fine. A phone call might be even better.
Just recently, I read of a study linking gratitude to improved health:
I do not know if an “attitude of gratitude” will offset all the extra calories of that holiday meal, but my brain is much happier being quick to thank and slow to blame.
Among the people I am grateful to are the staff at Gear Technology. It has been almost twenty years since my by-line first appeared in its hallowed pages. We are closing in on six years with this blog. Over the years they have become friends and encouragers. As noted in the last posting, they are ready to help you too.