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We delight in those we meet along the way

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful beyond words


Before you get offended that you weren’t one of the friends or family members included in the photos above, be thankful.  The most recent picture of you that was handy was not one you’d be happy I shared with others. 

In fact, get ready for a chorus of other things we can agree upon for which to be thankful. I am thankful for many things this year

… for the blessings of another year of wellness and good health; of dear friends and family
… for coming so close in the World Series that I could taste it outside my doorstep (literally)
… that the Wolverines are finishing their regular schedule next week with a reasonably good season
… that Michigan is finishing with a season that’s markedly less disappointing than Michigan State
… that this Michigan team has at least a reasonable shot at beating Ohio State (more on Monday)
… that the Wolverines were the ones cheering at the end of the Northwestern game this year
… that I didn’t require cardiac care after that game

Thankful we go home daily to a warm home with plenty of food, and all our reasonable material needs adequately addressed.  Thankful for a whole host of cool eateries in the D where we get to meet up with long lost friends, and new ones, without the prospect of dirty dishes afterwards.  Thankful we can look forward to many more of you calling or texting last minute to connect with us in the D for a drink or meal, which has been absolutely fantastic already (text us for dinner in the D@ 248.921.9153).

Thankful for having my wife Kay in the same city after three years of living in a foreign country (Columbus Ohio).  Thankful we’re now in the same building working together, and thankful she gets behind the wheel most days on the way home which ensures our safe arrival at our new place.  Thankful our boys are both doing well—that they are not only striving in college, but thriving in their own interesting and independent lives.  Thankful our parents, uncles and aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends and all their kids are each doing pretty well. 

We’ve lost a few good souls to cancer so far this year— and a few who are fighting and as yet spared.  Thankful those passed are in a better place and that their suffering is over, and their memory and good deeds will most assuredly live well past them.

Thankful for an exciting election season, and even more thankful that’s its over for the next few weeks.  Thankful that Colbert and Stewart keep us engaged on topics of national interest, and that Saturday Night Live still manages to have at least one good skit each week, thankful that the evening news provides enough additional material to cover any gaps.    

Thankful that we occupy a loft in Detroit which daily reminds us that we live more abundantly than most of those around us, and if we look beyond our neighborhood, our community, our state, our country, our hemisphere and beyond—no matter the geography, this still holds largely true.  And when you consider we are ultimately neighbors with almost 5 billion others on this planet, that’s a pretty bold claim for which I’m thankful.

Thankful that the movie season has started out so strong with Argo, Searching for Sugarman (in our own backyard in Detroit) and Lincoln.  Thankful that we got to hear Sixto Rodriguez live (see above). His guitar and singing artistry remind us that we all have the capacity to be rich in spirit, if not in material wealth.  And thankful that Hudson On Hyde and a host of other big films are yet to follow in short order.

I am thankful I got to see great friends in DC last week, who in turn reminded me that I have so many long-standing friends in many places where work takes me.  I am thankful that the work we do at ed2go actually makes a difference to others.  I am thankful that ed2go “our little e-learning engine that could” has launched a career online high school that is lifting up adult learners who’ve not had the chance to benefit from a high school diploma previously.  And I’m thankful for Howard (see above) and the team with whom we work who remind me daily that we can do well by doing some good first, and have the amazing talent to make it look easy, even when it most assuredly is not. 

Friends always laugh at all the interesting people I meet on the road, and my last trip was no exception.  I had the good fortune to run into our esteemed US congressman, John Dingell, on the way home from Washington DC last week.  He was waiting to board our flight when I struck up a conversation with him.  He asked me how are you?  “My wife and I just moved to Detroit and we’re loving it!” and you?

John said, “I’m thankful I woke up smiling again today, and get to do the people’s work.”  No small feat wearing the shoes he’s worn in the House for almost 57 years.

Kay and I went shopping the next day in the D, and were thankful more shops are moving downtown for the holidays, and helping the revitalization efforts inch along.  At the same time, I’m thankful to be celebrating a holiday that doesn’t require any gifts, and will have a parade, which I can watch outside my living room and bedroom windows, and won’t require me to dress up, and will just be about food, friends and family.

When we got together with friends later that day, we found ourselves debating John Dingell’s actual age ad nauseum until we googled the answer:  John Dingell is 86, and in June will be the longest-standing member of the US House in American history.  Thankful for the reminder that there’s still a lot more to be done, which we can get started doing, god willing, if we all set the same pace as John, on two good legs still standing doing a whole lot more still smiling.

Happy thanksgiving,


P.S. I’m thankful you can receive this message in good cheer from an iPhone, Blackberry, PC, Facebook, or elsewhere and you still don’t need a Groupon or “single sign on” to download the content.

             Dr. Howard Liebman inspires us to do well by doing some good.