Meister Eckhart once said “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.” It’s has been a very long and challenging year since I wrote you last year for Thanksgiving. If you recall I had lost several relatives and was challenged to put my life together in a way that I could help others use their own strengths, gifts, and life experiences to help create a better world.
Since last year, I’ve moved to a home on the lake, adopted two beagle puppies, and have acquired a business that should help me help more people achieve their dreams. It’s always interesting to see how your work changes others lives. I feel my greatest gift from God is the ability to see the best in others, sometimes even before they see it in themselves. It’s an incredible gift but, as with most gifts, it has a darker side. For many of the people I meet with they are straining just to keep ahead of bill collectors. They struggle with real life dramas that can make even the most ambitious among us reconsider our place in life. Sometimes we forget how good we have it.
For me, it’s about providing the light to their temporary darkness. It’s understanding that people change at their rate and not yours. I give thanks this year for the reminder it takes many people to help others. Not all people respond to the same motivation. A good teacher finds a way to connect with people where they are, not where you would like them to be. I have always been blessed to have teachers who not only connected to me where I was but, they came looking for me to make sure I was still growing and learning.
My biggest thank you has to go out to all the people in life who have made such a big difference in my life. But I also feel I should thank the people who make me smile with their look and their joy in life. Little acts of kindness can make such a huge difference in how life is lived.
I would like to thank those of you who have opened a door or shared a joke with me. I see my life as a tapestry colored by other’s life stories. The more I see, the more I realize how truly wealthy I have become. But as the story goes with great wealth, comes greater responsibility to other people. You cannot become truly rich in this life without serving others. So thank you to all the people who have served me and more importantly thank you to the people it’s been a pleasure to serve over the past 50 years.
I’d like to leave you with a quote by John Fitzgerald Kennedy “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Happy Thanksgiving, today and every day.