Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cultivating Thankfulness

     It seems to me that of all the habits we might want to develop for ourselves, cultivating a spirit of thankfulness is a pretty good one.  Throughout this year of intentional kindness, I think I'll set aside regular days to be more mindful of my good fortune, and more importantly, to express thanks and appreciation to some of the people who have played an important role in my life.  With that in mind, today I decided to write a thank you note to a woman who was central to the early years of raising our children.

       At the time my son was born, my wife was working alongside me in our burgeoning insurance practice, and we really weren't in a position to be without her.  Like many young parents, we were concerned about finding appropriate childcare and balancing our desire to be home with our children with the demands of a growing business.  Believe it or not, through an ad in the paper, we found a warm and loving woman who had always been a professional "nanny" and was just finishing a job with a family whose children were outgrowing their need for her.  For the next 4 years, she came to our home and took care of my son, and later my daughter, for 20 hours each week so that my wife and I could both continue to work.  She cared for them as if they were her own.

     Today, we occasionally hear from or see this woman, usually around the holidays when our kids are home from school.  I've often not been present for these get-togethers, as they're usually filled with "girl talk" and other topics that don't usually involve me.  In fact, one of those occasions was today.  And that's what got me thinking about how fortunate we were to have her, and how rarely I've let her know that.  Today I made a step toward correcting that.

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