Learning gratefulness

Dear companion,

Do you practice gratefulness?

We live and work in a world of making the most, of maximizing. We obsess on the bottom line. It applies to life as much as business. How much can I get out of this? How can I increase my portion?

The danger of pushing our desire to maximize is that we might be inadvertently squelching the spirit of gratitude. When we are grateful, we are content with having less and others having more. We are happy to share more of our share with others.

I am reminded of a Jewish law that promotes the redistribution of resources to others. Leviticus 23:22 says, “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you.” If you own the land, this directive might not sit well. What do you mean don’t maximize my reaping?

However, a blessed land owner, like a blessed person today, has learned to be grateful. He or she doesn’t judge the less fortunate because of the differences in their resources. He or she gives thanks, and in the spirit of gratefulness, does not reap the “edges of the field”.

How about us? Do we shut others out by squeezing out or hoarding everything? Give your co-worker that extra project so that he or she can shine. Teach your colleague that “new” skill so that he or she can get closer to a promotion. Share a client with a friend who is just starting. Take 10 minutes to debrief a situation with a friend, even if you are super busy.

Let’s learn to practice gratefulness, be it at work, at home, or with your loved one. It is better to give than to receive.

Your friend in learning,

Dr. Joel Tapia

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