There is a certain feeling of accomplishment when we look at the thanksgiving table all decorated and prepared to feed family and friends. We make sure there is room for the turkey, our favorite sides, and desserts we hope to save room for. We also survey the place settings and upon last glance, count the number of empty chairs. Our minds drift to the individuals who will soon be filling each spot and then we pause to consider the people who are unable to be present, but whose memory fills our hearts. Sometimes these empty chairs may even represent those individuals who, throughout the year and through small seemingly insignificant changes, made an impact on our lives.
Thanksgiving provides a special time of year in which we consciously set aside time to express gratitude for all the opportunities we have received throughout the year, but more importantly for the people who fill our lives. Sometimes these people are only in our lives for a passing moment, others are meant to stay. We may not always know their names, they may just be a stranger we passed on the street and shared a brief conversation with, but they crossed our path at a point in time when we needed to be reminded that regardless of our circumstances we all share a human connection.
So, this year, as we look out across our empty table, take the time to consider all the people who entered our life over the past year and reflect on the impact they each had and the impression they left. Think about all those people who are still yet to cross our path and consider how we can leave them better off for having interacted with us. Making a positive difference does not begin with a big, important act, but an insignificant action prompted by a still small voice that encourages us to reach out to just one more person, offer a word of kindness, or extend a hand that helps them up. We have all had a point in our life when someone through a look, conversation, or silent acknowledgment who provided the motivation we needed to continue on. Now it is our turn to look for opportunities to fill our empty table and pass on the kindness that was shown to us throughout the year. While thanksgiving is one day we set aside to formally express our gratitude, we should look for ways to be thankful all throughout the year.
EduCred Services is thankful for all the people who continue to share the journey with us as we look for pathways that help make students’ dreams come true by removing obstacles to their success. We all had a little help along the way and we should look for ways to help others as well.