Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Finding Purpose, Giving Thanks

With the calendar turning and the holidays approaching we will spend moments of our days and weeks ahead showing and offering our gratitude to others. We will have an opportunity to define our purpose and to give thanks. This week is full of thanksgivings.

And just like that the names and faces of those that I am grateful for rushes to the forefront of my mind. This list continues to grow with each passing moment of each passing day of each passing year. As educators we are blessed by the people we are surrounded by.

It is one piece of my work that brings me back to center each and every day of every week of every month of every year. You, like me, realize that it is our relationships with others that provide us the moments that drive us to be grateful for others.

These powerful, everlasting relationships with students, teachers, parents and our school community becomes the driving force behind our successes and speaks to the culture of our organization. It is these very relationships that we never take for granted and we constantly remind ourselves of our purpose and our place.

As you plan for the remainder of your week and the bountiful feasts that await you, take a moment to reflect on the relationships you have nurtured, embraced and cultivated. Whether a student that says good morning to you as they enter the building, a teacher that takes an extra moment to email you their appreciation for something you have supported them with or a parent that drops by to leave a tray of treats for the office, each of these gestures affirm the thankfulness they posses for the efforts you have made to be present for them. It is the relationship that matters.

This Thanksgiving reflect on your purpose and take the time to give thanks to those around you. The relationships are at the heart of what we do year round.

And with that, I share this list of questions. It is not mine, it is from a post from Seth Godin in which he shares The Thanksgiving Reader. Take a moment to read, reflect, and respond. And above all else, have a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends near and far.

What’s the value of gratitude? 
Why does it even matter? 
Why aren't people, especially Americans, more grateful? 
What can we do to feel grateful the other 364 days of the year? 
Are older people more grateful than younger people? Or is it the reverse? 
We all know the value of connections, but where did the barriers come from and what can we do to topple them? 
Who’s the most grateful person you know? 
Who’s your gratitude role model? 
What is something—a conversation, advice you received, etc.—you became grateful for only well after it occurred? Why did it take you so long? 
Have you lived a life that deserves gratitude from others?