Date Added: October 2016
As we look ahead to Thanksgiving, sadly, many are concerned there is less and less to be thankful for as they believe the world is in disarray. I urge us to take a more positive look at Thanksgiving since there is much more for us to give thanks for. The following story may help.
Saint Teresa of Kolkata used to tell others her greatest achievement was cleaning toilets. She cared for others, and since toilets had to be cleaned, this was part of caring for others. No job was beneath her.
A story goes that one day a well-dressed man came to see her, and found her scrubbing toilets. She assumed he was there to volunteer, and explained how to hold a toilet brush and not waste the precious water. Then she left. After the man scrubbed the toilets for 20 minutes, he sought her out.
“I have finished. I am the director of the airline and here are your airline tickets. I wanted to bring them to you personally,” said the man. The man later told others the 20 minutes spent cleaning toilets filled him with the greatest joy ever because he was helping people the way she did.
If we view the world as having so many problems, are we proactively seeking ways to “clean toilets?” What toilets can you clean at work, with your co-workers, with your family, and/or for yourself? We can be thankful for the simple tasks we can each do to help others, which increases employee engagement.
This may be a smile, holding the door for someone, asking how someone’s weekend went, demonstrating empathy, listening intently, or giving someone a needed hug. The list is endless. This month, seek ways to serve others for 20 minutes per day, 20 minutes per week, 20 hours per month, or 20 days per year. When we serve others, the gift we receive is a huge personal thank you, and sense of joy and fulfillment.
Interestingly, thanksgiving consists of “thanks” and “giving.” Consider giving a bit more of yourself and you will have many things to be thankful for.
David Yeghiaian is committed to inspiring others through faith and leadership. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.