The premise of this time of Thanksgiving is about celebrating the bounty in one’s life and giving gratitude for the things we have been blessed with. While the origins of the holiday itself and some of the ways it continues to be celebrated are fraught, there are also new traditions being imagined and other emphases for our gratitude. Seth Godin’s Thanksgiving Reader is one example and Oprah has compiled this list of 30 traditions to try with your family, while this article from Cultural Survival highlights strategies for decolonizing and honoring native peoples on Thanksgiving and throughout indigenous peoples’ month.
After living with the stress of a global pandemic for 21+ months and seeing so much suffering all around us, it can be hard sometimes to reach for things to be thankful for, but there are mountains of evidence that a gratitude practice helps build resilience and that it is especially useful when times are hard.
This month, we welcome Trent Norman to our team—someone I’ve worked beside, admired, and considered a friend for going on a quarter century (though it sure does make me feel old to say it that way)—to further strengthen our JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) practice.
And, we’ve paused to reflect on how we can engage meaningfully with those in need in our communities, bring a mindset of inclusivity to everything we do from how we celebrate “the holidays,” to how we recruit and retain diverse talent during this period of significant career upheaval, and how we can use this moment of reimagining to interrogate commonly held assumptions about professionalism while also confronting what it will really take to build truly resilient organizations into the future.
Our team has fared better than many during this “great disruption,” but we’ve also lost loved ones, or not been able to visit them, had to figure out how to grow and strengthen our team and our culture mostly at a distance, learned to navigate business uncertainty and pivot often, while also making space for our own pain at ongoing acts of hate that go unpunished, a political system that can make hope hard to muster, and the never ending uncertainty of this “new normal.”
Nevertheless, we pause to remember the many things we have to be grateful for—for family, for friends, for one another, and for all of you who have supported us and been alongside us for the journey.
With appreciation and gratitude,