Let’s Talk About Gratitude, Shall We?

A message of thanks to our CS readers
Published: June 3, 2011

In this age of economic struggles and skyrocketing stress levels, it can be tempting to adopt a “poor me” attitude on life. I often hear those in the campus protection profession as well as those in other fields lament, “I don’t have enough staff,” or “There is too much to do,” or “I’m so tired,” or “I’m not appreciated.”

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of this kind of complaining too. We all are being stretched in many ways and are facing new challenges that can be tough to handle. This is particularly true for those of us in the campus public safety community where we often witness the darkest side of humanity.

But then I hear about programs like the Warrior Games, and I’m stopped in my tracks. This event, which was held May 16-21 in Colorado Springs, Colo., showcased the remarkable athletic abilities of those brave men and women in the U.S. armed forces who have been wounded while serving their country. Despite the fact that these individuals have spinal cord injuries, visual impairments, post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries or amputations, they are out there, competing in archery, cycling, basketball, shooting, swimming, track and field, and volleyball.

Examples of these kinds of triumphs aren’t just limited to the great state of Colorado. They can be found everywhere.

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This weekend, I visited a friend who just had breast cancer surgery. Not once during our get together was she on the pity pot. Instead, she was grateful for her employer and all of her family and friends who have supported her throughout this challenging time. She and I talked about the series of miracles that led to the doctors discovering her condition early. My friend is wise beyond her 33 years.

I don’t hear her or any of the Warrior Games’ participants whining about that small scratch on their brand new BMW or not having enough money to buy another pair of Jimmy Choo shoes. Yes, it is nice to have luxuries, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t want those things. But sometimes it takes seeing someone else experience a loss – or experiencing it yourself – to fully appreciate all that we do have.  

So let me tell you about all that I’m grateful for: My life, my health, my family, my friends, my home, my job, my bosses, my coworkers and those I manage. I’m even grateful for all of those little annoyances, like my sore shoulder, my old and very loud bathroom exhaust fan and my obnoxious next door neighbors. The reality is that my shoulder still works (and if it gets really bad, I have the resources to go to the doctor), I have indoor plumbing that works, and my neighbors are very kind, even if they do wake me up at 7 a.m. on Sundays.

Also, I’m grateful for you, dear Campus Safety readers. I know that all of you are doing your best every day to make this world a little bit better and a little bit safer. I feel privileged to be able to support you, if only in a small way. Thank you!

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Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series