Giving uncommon thanks

Nov 26, 2014

It’s the time of the year when many of us think about and ask each other what we’re grateful for.   We take stock of all the good in our lives, and in the world.  And most of us truly are luckier than we remember during the daily grind of to-do lists and deadlines and paying the bills and commuting and taking care of other people.  It’s easy to be thankful one day of the year.  It’s far more difficult (and uncommon) to—as our friends at WhyTry like to say—flip the switch every day

But I’m guessing that all of us here do what we do for kids—whether it’s a volunteer gig or our official employment—because we recognize that we’re lucky enough to be in a position to do so.  That the ability to serve is a gift in itself

  • To be tired means we were able to work hard.
  • To be frustrated means we care.  (And to have people frustrated with us means that they care, even if in not so many words.)
  • To fail means that we were brave enough to try, and that now we have discovered one way that won’t work so we can stop banging our heads into the wall.
  • To be "nothing" is a blank canvas of possibilities.

And speaking of giving uncommon thanks:

Thank you for your uncommon service this year. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”  Well, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation version might be that everyone can be uncommon, because everyone can serve.  It doesn’t matter if it’s not technically your job or if there were things beyond your control or you were tired or overloaded—you aim high, you dare to ask why not, you grow your team, you commit and you follow through.  I’ve been fortunate to be part of a team that includes people like you.  Because you get that it’s not about us: it’s about the kids who now know that they decide how to swing at whatever life throws their way.  That being an MVP is not about the scoreboard.  That the statistics do not define who they are or what they can accomplish. 

So thank you for everything you do, day in and day out.  May you and your loved ones have a wonderful Thanksgiving!