Should You Choose to Accept It…
In the US, they celebrate Thanksgiving this week on Thursday the 23rd. When I lived and studied in the US, I found this to be a wonderful celebration and time to reflect on what we’ve been gifted and earned. More relaxed and far less commercial than any other family oriented holiday, and bridging religious and cultural divides, it was something that everyone shared in common.
But one of the astounding things that I experienced was the tremendous generosity of both spirit and possessions that the Americans I lived with and was surrounded by expressed. It’s not something commented on much outside America, but in the U.S., as an isolated foreign student living with next to nothing, it was a measure of their culture that whole families would invite me and others like me to share Thanksgiving with them. Friends would drive us many hours to their family’s home and the family in question would open their hearts and homes to me and others without hesitation and with extreme enthusiasm. It was humbling, honouring and joyful all at the same time.
When we hoard our possessions and lives and live isolated and alone in stately mansions that the rest of humanity and history would have regarded as royal by nature, we do ourselves and those around us a disservice. A welcoming heart and home gets pushed out by divisive cultural forces and fears, yet the only way to reconcile those forces and fears is to take the plunge of generosity, enabled by an attitude of thanksgiving for everything we do have.
I have a disabled daughter. I could be resentful and want to sue others for it, as many do, or I can be grateful and thankful for the beautiful girl that she is. My wife and I (and our other daughters) choose the latter and are the richer for it. As a consequence, we can also share her happily with many others and she enriches their lives as well.
Thanksgiving. It’s a great holiday, but an even better state of mind.
Quote for the Week:
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien (spoken by the character, Thorin Oakenshield), The Hobbit
Sponsorships for True Grit: Thank you to those who sponsored my run, in support of The Ability Centre. If you are late to the party and would still like to donate, you can do so here at https://give.everydayhero.com/au/true-grit-for-cerebral-palsy.
Where You Can See Me Next: January 22, at the Rotary Club of Swan Valley, on “The 7 Deadly Sins of Leaders”. http://www.swanvalleyrotary.org.au/Speakers/d4497efd-9408-43df-b0aa-3d324ef38738
The Great Leaders Project: Spend a half day with me reviewing the fascinating stories and episodes of some of history’s greatest acknowledged secular leaders [*see following note] and take away lessons that you can apply that day. Date will be in 2018, depending on interest. If you would like to do this in a shorter online format instead, let me know. Register your interest by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. [*Religious leaders would involve too many ontological discussions, but if you ever want to do that, let me know and I’ll work it out – I have a minor in theology and worked in the faculty.]
The Business Success Workshop: Too many people fail to thrive in their business simply because they don’t know how to put everything together to execute. We’ll spend one supercharged day together in an entrepreneurial mindset, with owners, MDs and execs from diverse industries looking to dramatically drive forward their business idea. At the same time, we’ll consider the mechanisms you need to employ to ensure that you thrive personally and don’t lose balance in your life while you pursue your mission! Tentatively planned for February 2018. Register your interest by email to email@example.com.
Transformational Leadership Retreat 2018: I’m using all of my coaching, educational & development expertise, research, resources and personal executive leadership experience at ultra-challenging levels to design the ultimate transformational leadership retreat – everything that can be accomplished in two and a half days does that not involve ropes and a drill sergeant yelling at people! I’ll be bringing in the big guns for designing this one and sloughing off all the dross and dregs of buzzwords and buzz strategies, so-called development and research that merely obfuscate and “lose the name of action”. If you want to be involved, or have a request for something you’d really wish you could accomplish through a leadership retreat/workshop, then let me know while I’m in the design phase. Watch this space!
© 2017 Peter J. McLean www.petermclean.co