2012 Gratitude

     The last week of August this year I suddenly was asked to teach four graduate classes and three undergraduate classes on four different campuses.  So aside from an election night moment of hope and a couple of linked posts to worthwhile blogs or writings of associates there's been no time to share in this medium.

     With a week to start before class the first question tends to be "What textbook are we using?"  Then given my abhorrence for texts that give lots of theory and outdated economic reality examples, while helping students relate concepts to the world they live and work in, becomes rather consuming.  Particularly while working on my own PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology; writing for the local paper; filling in as a talk show host on regional radio in the morning regularly; and working to help the engagement between the Tea Party and liberals in my region in solving What Matters Now in my communities.

     I just got off the phone with a wonderful woman named Jenny in Denver on Thanksgiving Eve trying to convince me to utilize their executive search program for six figure employment.  She and I will both be working on Sunday this week.  Kind of like Sergio Marchionne who does work seven days a week on at least two continents and has more wisdom and common sense than typically exists in America. We see every day as an opportunity for Doing Something that makes a positive difference in our communities, region and the world.

     So for this American Thanksgiving Holiday, let me just share some things I'm grateful for.  It's probably three weeks before I can get back to writing my heart and what I'm learning as opposed to preparing to speak and guide students to their own self discoveries for 21+ hours a week.  This afternoon though, I'd like to share a list that of gratitude that is infinite, so this is a short version.
  • Faith:  It's difficult for me to believe based on the principle of Cause & Effect that there wasn't a higher power which caused the scientifically verified creation of the universe, and humanity. My specific spiritual beliefs are a more personal discussion, one on one, because my reading of holy texts doesn't deny anyone else the right to their beliefs.  Particularly residing in the United States, regardless of politics that aren't scriptural but pretend to be.  You can read Losing Common Knowledge for a broader perspective, otherwise contact me and we'll engage each other and grow.  I've seen too many miracles in the name of what I believe to ever consider denying that theology.
  •  Ancestors, Grandparents, Parents, Surrogates and Mentors: There are genetic and psychological aspects of who I am that ignoring or denying only leads to failure and listening to the histories and understanding them brings success. I come from a strong line of female leadership that unfortunately the search for them ends in Germany in the 1600's when male dominated society didn't care about women.  The denying of female leadership which Christ accepted but the human church denied is a catastrophe still trying to find equality.  Nonetheless I can say with complete gratitude that whenever a multiple divorce parent was not available or providing a good example, that a surrogate mentor tried to get me to listen and grow.  Listing them causes us to run out of of ink and toner.  A different post on another day.
  • Immediate Family:  Significant others, spouse, mate, and children for those of us who have them.  I wouldn't be able to accomplish what I do or have the vision of the future I see without their love, patience, support and assistance. 
  • Reading:  My maternal grandmother, an elementary school teacher in Buchanan, MI when not a mother most of her adult life once said: "I've never seen a child who reads so much."  Or so I'm told.  I will fully admit that if there is an addiction in my life it is to printed books, though I sometimes tried to substitute it for other substances because I was avoiding my life's calling.  It's one of the reasons I can't watch network news in the United States and politicians drive me crazy because based on science, existing data, and innovation I listen and can say "Lie, Lie, Lie, Lie, Lie, Half-Truth, repeat the first lie . . ." on a moment by moment basis.
  • The Network: In no particular order - Twitter; Pinterest; LinkedIn; Blogger; Tumbler; Facebook and the amazing online world that while not replacing the value of in-person contact and conversation, lifts me up at just the right moments daily as a word, a kindness, a piece of inspiration floats past my screen.  I am no longer amazed at how small the world is really becoming.  I just am grateful for the opportunity to observe, listen, read, and share globally. Planting seeds and letting them be watered and tended along the way, in due time.
I can not begin to express the fullness of the wonder and gratitude that is in my heart, soul and mind for this limited by time but endless in joy and opportunity life. That doesn't mean every moment is pleasant or enjoyable.  Far from it.  Yet those moments of pain, weakness, error and mistakes are just another lesson of life-long learning that somewhere in the not so distant future will help someone else through their moments of doubt.

Lord this is a tremendous time to make a difference in the lives of those we come in contact with.  Minute by minute, moment by moment and starting fresh, vibrant, and full of hope with each new sunrise.

Thank you for today. And in case I forget, tomorrow as well.

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