Re-printed from 2018…Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s pretty easy to immediately think of the things I’m thankful for every Thanksgiving. My beautiful wife of 32 (now 33) years; my children that have grown into wonderful adults (and I include my son-in-law when I reference children); my perfect granddaughters (added one in March); my family and friends; my business…. you get the picture. While these people I’m grateful for are foremost in my mind, I’m often guided to think of other areas of thanksgiving.
I’m grateful for the countless things in my life that I daily take for granted:
I was born in a first-world country that offers freedoms, resources, and opportunity to chart my own course in life.
I was born to parents who provided me with unconditional love and the income that could send me to good schools to get an education unlike what millions of children at that time (and still today) can’t even fathom.
I’ve never had to find clean water; been anxious over my next meal; or worry about discrimination or injustice. I’ve had the advantage of the best medical care possible and education to know how to live a long and happy life.
While I have great faith, I also know serendipity is involved. I could have been born anywhere in the world where all those amenities I described wouldn’t exist. While I’m thankful for me, it’s a sobering reminder of the plight of many.
As I write this, it dawns on me that this month, I’m celebrating 25 years in Rotary. Rotary has been a constant reminder to me of how my life is the exception; how I’m in the 1% of the world’s population based on when, where, and to whom I was born. While I made my own decisions which helped me to where I am, those were made simpler by my education and those that mentored me. I’m thankful to be a Rotarian so that in some small way, I am able to give back and support people who aren’t as fortunate as me.
Final thought. This memo today is meant to inspire. You are getting this because you’ve been placed in a similar position to me. Be thankful not only this week, but every day and do something small daily to help improve the condition of someone else. Very often, that might simply be kindness. My guess is that every one of you do this, and it’s a friendly reminder that we should all be thankful of where we are and how we got here. And a reminder that we have a chance to take that thankfulness and help someone else.
As I conclude, my sincere thanks to all of you for being faithful readers and followers of my work. I am grateful for you.
Quote of the Day:
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”
~ Helen Keller
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