Although the season calls for cider, I have been thinking a lot about making lemonade. The Chestertown Spy recently cancelled my column. I have been writing for this online community news service for nearly three years. What began as a purely personal creative outlet which I thought I had earned by the merits of my writing, ended when a new editor decided to make my column contingent upon a school advertising sponsorship. Throughout my career in advertising and in education I have worked with many news organizations, and advertising is never a prerequisite for editorial content. That, my friends, is an example of quid pro quo – an advantage granted in return for something.
I am pleased to say, however, that making lemonade caused me to launch my own blog – That’s Another Story. This is truly a dream come true and I hope that you will read my stories.
As many of you know, this academic year I selected GRATEFUL as a word to keep before the Kent School community. There is no better time to celebrate this word than in November. Thanksgiving is a time to pause and reflect on what you are grateful for.
The older I get the more I discover that what I am most grateful for are the people in my life. Many research studies have proven that positive connections with other people are essential for happiness and health. In a recent study conducted by Amit Kumar and Nicholas Epley at the Booth School of Business at The University of Chicago, entitled Undervaluing Gratitude: Expressers Misunderstand the Consequences of Showing Appreciation, they wrote:
Positive social connections are a powerful source of well-being, and creating those connections can sometimes come at little or no cost. However, they also require that people choose to engage in actions that strengthen social bonds, such as expressing gratitude.
Expressing gratitude is a powerful act of civility benefitting both the giver and the receiver. At this time of year, especially, I plan to write gratitude notes to the people in my life whose presence keeps me grounded. I will see 22 of them on Thanksgiving Day and I cannot wait to tell them in person how much they mean to me!
Thank you to all of you who read my first blog Be Kind. Grateful to have made my lemonade. Now I can make some Thanksgiving foods.