So many great things, places and people surround us. Appreciate them…embrace them.
This past week I had the opportunity to participate in a celebration of life for a friend who left us far too soon. Kent Lindsey will be remembered as an entertainer, musician, TV personality, actor, teacher, husband, father, friend and community-minded citizen. All who met him, found inspiration.
But there was more to this man. And while most of my blog followers never met or knew of Kent, I want to share one piece of his legacy that we would all do well to remember and practice regularly.
Kent named his porch the Gratitude Café. Here he could enjoy peace, solitude, reflection and, yes, gratitude for the bounty in his life. As the story is related, he so appreciated this space.
As he battled cancer and the slow but steady loss of all that was dear to him, he never lost his appreciation for life. Even when he was undergoing chemotherapy and things just did not look good, Kent was thankful. Filled with gratitude for all that he had the good fortune to experience in life.
Someone once asked Kent if the Gratitude Café was a place or an attitude. His response (with his inimitable laugh) was simply, “Yes.”
Kent’s lesson is simple yet often overlooked. So many great things, places and people surround us. Appreciate them…embrace them. Why would we let the not-so positive rob us of the joy around us? Yes, we can focus on who “did us wrong” today or we can think about all those good people in our lives. Why let the energy vampires (or toxic situations in life) take control?
Video recommendation of the week:
One of the celebration event singers performed the classic James Taylor song, “You’ve Got a Friend.” One line was particularly appropriate: “People will take your soul if you let them but don’t you let them.”
You would have been hard pressed to find a person in that room last Thursday night who would disagree. But what often happens after such events? When we find ourselves confronted with the dramas of life, we can easily let ourselves get distracted from all that is good.
A few years ago a colleague shared the wisdom of a wise old man with me. In short, “I can wake up and count all that hurts me and is wrong with me or the world. Or I can give thanks for all that works and is right.”
It is truly our choice. Thanks to Kent for reminding me of that. Reminding all of us.
May you spend more time in your Gratitude Café this week.
Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.
Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.
(c) 2015. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.
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A functioning community moves beyond listing and reciting core values. It shares and lives those values. And, it provides a safe place for its members to explore, stretch, learn, fail, and grow.
Steve is not a life coach and does not provide legal advice. He facilitates conversations and helps raise and confront important questions about what we do, why we do it, and how we do it.