Hey mister, are you thankful?
Well, it is almost Thanksgiving, and this morning a child in my neighborhood asked me if I was thankful for anything. It caught me off guard and I was not quite sure how to respond in a quick, casual, “I’m walking the dog” kind of way. I looked at him and simply said, “Of course. While I don’t have much, I look at others who have less and realize how fortunate and thankful I am.” And then I added that I feel particularly thankful that I am able to do a small part in my community to help those less fortunate than me. As I walked away, it seemed like it was a standard answer that most people would give. And then I began to really think.
It was not so much of a stock answer at all.
From a professional level, I am so incredibly thankful to work in an industry that is resilient, despite the best efforts of outside forces. I am thankful to work in an industry where my colleagues can be competitors, mentors, and friends all at the same time. I am thankful for the resources that are available from companies like Travel Research Online and suppliers to enable me to do my job better. And I am most thankful for a “happy” industry. It is a rare day when I am not happy to go into work (granted, my work is just down the stairs) or that a client comes to me who is not happy. A good, nurturing work environment is something that many do not have. I have several friends that work for the Federal government. Sure they have these mythical things called pensions… and they get an incredible amount of days off… but in the end, from what I see, they are just going through the motions day in and day out just to earn a check. And I am thankful I am not like that!
On a personal level, I have my health, which so many do not. Sure I have had medical ups and downs (can you say 2 ruptured quadriceps tendons?) but all-in-all, I have my health and no worries in that department. I have three wonderful kids—one in the workforce, another graduating college in less than a month, and another one thriving in college in DC. Somehow, I have managed to afford the tuition bills, so there is plenty to be thankful for there. I am thankful that my parents instilled a spirit of “giving back” in me and I take it to heart. I volunteer with several organizations in my community and do what I can to help others. Each Christmas morning, my kids and I are in a homeless shelter cooking a Christmas breakfast for the residents. I am active on the board of a local organization that helps women and children who are victims of domestic violence. As the nationwide heroin epidemic continues to ravage communities, I took a class on the administration of Narcan—and bought three doses to use—but thankfully I have not had the opportunity to use them.
So, in the end, it was not a “standard answer,” more of a quick one. But, as it is with every Thanksgiving, it makes sense to stop and literally count your blessings. And I have one more—I am thankful for that kid who stopped me this morning.
How about you? Leave a comment!