Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays that, despite the emphasis on consuming to the point of gastric distress, has not lost its original significance of an occasion for giving thanks. In our culture work we’ve used the “Mood Elevator” to depict the range of states of mind that can affect our thinking and actions: at the very top of the elevator is “gratitude.” It occupies that spot because the act of expressing gratitude reflects how utterly dependent we are on the people and world around us for everything that matters. When we are grateful we are not alone. If appreciation is the glue that holds an organization together, gratitude is the glue that holds us together.
For some time now, I have ended each day by thinking of three things I was grateful for that day. It’s always easy to come up with one or two, though sometimes three is tough without cheating by falling back on overly used standbys (my wife, my children, Gilles’ custard). But requiring three forces me to really consider the events, people, and interactions of the day and their value to me. Here are some of the work-related things I’ve had on my list lately:
Colleagues who inspire me to excel, by their examples of dedication and commitment, clinical expertise, and inquisitive spirit.
A CHW leadership group that, in every way, truly exemplifies a team.
A work environment that is supportive, challenging, meaningful, and fun.
A short commute.
Those of you reading this can’t claim any credit for that last one, but as for the rest, I offer my thanks. Upon leaving at the end of the day I sometimes think, to paraphrase a former minister of ours, “We haven’t just been to Children’s, we ARE Children’s.” This organization is nothing more than the sum of all of us, and its success reflects on us all.