Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

This is the definition Google provided me as I looked for a starting point to this blog. I want to shift this to something more actionable:

Being thankful, showing appreciation and kindness. Seems so simple doesn’t it?

I have many Facebook folks who show up in my feed with the November gratitude challenge, and offer a statement of appreciation each morning. What a nice start to the day! And I wonder about the extension of that to the world that interferes when we leave our computer screens?

My choice each November is to sit and consider how my life has been influenced over the previous months of the year. I write notes to people who have touched me, and now I pause in a more general sense to appreciate a few specific things:

Gary Pinkel. I first wrote about Gary when Michael Sam was the topic of media frenzy. Now I find myself appreciating him again. Gary is a leader, and his time with Missouri football was filled with learning, as all leaders do. And two weeks ago when he stood by his players as they promised a boycott of the BYU football game over the racially-charged concerns on campus, I knew he was well above the curve. Thank you Gary, and Godspeed on your journey.

Legal Leadership Institute. A labor of love to put forward a new way of developing leadership in the profession was launched this year, and I am so grateful for the support and kindness shown as we look to grow the legal industry’s business skills.

Humanity. I am grateful for the unity happening in so many ways across the world. Collecting and connecting kindness as we unite in a clear purpose of treating each other with respect and dignity. I pause and give compassion and empathy to those who are healing from the wounds caused in violation of our commonalities – our human condition – and commit to recognizing differences while appreciating similarities.

That’s it, really, appreciating similarities. Everywhere. I’m giving my best in this appreciation – will you?