November 16, 2011
As the holiday season officially gets underway next week, I hope all of you have the very happiest of Thanksgivings, and I’d like to extend my best wishes for the season to you and your loved ones.
It’s customary at this time to begin reflecting on the year past, acknowledging our successes, looking for ways to improve, and considering the many gifts that have come our way over the past 365 days. I know I have a lot to be thankful for. I am blessed with a happy and healthy family, a warm and comfortable home, good friends, and rewarding work.
More broadly, I believe all of us here at WesternU have much to be thankful about. In its most basic form, our mission is helping people. This is an honor and a privilege, and something we never should take for granted or consider burdensome. Thankful, too, should we be for the place our institution holds in the communities we serve, and for the regard in which WesternU is held by the members of those communities. We are known as a compassionate, skilled resource for all those who seek our assistance. We must be forever thankful for this reputation, for the decades of commitment and care that went into building it, and for the obligation we have to maintain it.
Regardless of one’s religious or spiritual views, giving thanks and expressing gratitude yield boundless benefits. Obstacles and problems become more manageable when we become grateful for the opportunity to overcome them. Optimism grows as we appreciate our lot in life and the blessings others bring to us.
Keeping an "attitude of gratitude" seems not so difficult when one considers the value and necessity of the skills being taught at our University, the appreciation expressed by the people we serve, and the general atmosphere of a community where humanism and compassionate care are a way of life, not just catchphrases we break out once a year. I think that’s a lot to be thankful for. I hope you do, too.
As always, I welcome your feedback on this topic and any others as we discuss WesternU's Benchmarks of Value, and our plans. Please e-mail me with your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org, and feel free to share this message with your family and friends.
My best to you all,