"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Thanks to one of our friends and colleagues, Becky Livingston, this JFK quote came across my desk this week and I’ve been pondering it ever since. We’re entering “the holidays” – that hallowed six week period at year end where we reflect gratefully upon our blessings and attempt to share them with others through hospitality, food, gifts, greetings and more.
But why does it take an Outlook reminder notice to know that “gratitude and sharing time” has rolled around again? What would the world be like if every day was filled with expressions and actions that reflected our appreciation for our many gifts and blessings?
I’ve been wondering also, what more I can do to live my words of appreciation as JFK suggests? Here are a few actions I could take to better live by my thankful words:
- Thanking my co-workers, clients, colleagues, caregivers, children and especially my husband more often for their contributions to my well being and happiness.
- Offering more of myself to the service of others by:
- Volunteering more often (see my colleague Lisa Spear’s blog on the subject at http://tinyurl.com/2c54uex ) and taking my children along whenever possible so they can benefit, too
- Offering to help friends or their family members who are seeking employment with resume review, network connections and coaching calls to help keep their search on track
- Being more available to family and friends who want to socialize, share their problems or just hang out
- Giving more time at church and at school
- Recycling even more– and I do a lot now -- but I know I can do more
- Holding my tongue when I’m frustrated, angry or tired and saving my “input” for another time when it can be more constructive and inspirational
- Taking better care of myself – allowing for more sleep, reducing my Diet Coke intake and drinking more water
I’m not sure what else I could be doing, but this is a meaningful list and I generated it quickly. Given more time, I’m sure there are hundreds of actions I could take that would tell God, and others, that I really do appreciate my blessings. But, I also know that I am forever stuffing 20 pounds into a 10 pound bag in my life. When faced with the need to do more and an already packed schedule, I would counsel others to just pick one thing. So I’ll take my own medicine! For my one thing, I’ll commit to volunteering more – first asking my priest at church if there’s a new project that could use my talents and asking our school counselor what more she needs to be more effective in her job. In a future blog, I’ll let you know what these actions produce.
So, what more will you do to live your gratitude? Please post your ideas – we’re interested.
And, while we’re on the subject of gratitude, please know how genuinely grateful all of us at ConvergenceCoaching are for your friendship and readership. It is a gift to have our ideas heard and considered and to have friends to debate them with, too. Thank you for being a part of our lives!
P.S. We plan to honor our families (and ourselves) and take Thursday and Friday, November 25 and 26 off. And, looking ahead, we will continue our tradition of celebrating the holiday week with our families and friends by closing our business from December 24 through January 2. Thanks for your support of this time off!
I'm sorry, but this blog has me chuckling this morning. My sons insisted that I watch the intro to Call of Duty: Black Ops last night. It has JFK with various figures including Nixon and Castro in a room. JFK is throwing out inspirational lines one after another. As they head out heavily armed to take on the zombies JFK is providing inspirational quotes like the line in your blog today. Peace and Happy Thanksgiving.