grat·i·tude (ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/), noun the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

thanksgiving-table‘Tis the week Americans spend a bit longer than a split second thinking about all the things for which we are grateful. This year, especially, given all the chaos and violence in the world, perhaps I am not the only one to say that I am filled with gratitude for all my first-world problems…

  • Getting lambasted on social media for my opinions about politics, religion and other taboo topics versus being tortured or killed for my occasional opposition to my government, for example.
  • Family that lives too far away; friends I see too rarely and neighbors who are sick of me borrowing eggs and laundry soap.
  • Commuting an hour each way several times a week to a job I not only love but also believe in because of the dedication of the smartest teammates on the planet in their efforts to develop better employees, managers and leaders so work won’t feel so much like a four-letter word.
  • Luxuries I take for granted daily: technology and being connected 24/7/365; indoor washer, dryer, stove, and dishwasher; my Honda with well over 200K miles; shoes, coats, hats and gloves that are years old and still keep my family warm this time of year.
  • Dodging confused neighborhood drivers around round-abouts that are atypical in this part of the US while the view of the Colorado Rocky Mountains always reassures me which way is west.
  • Dusting off the cobwebs in my brain to help my middle-schooler with his homework for hours a night at times.
  • Travel dozens of, if not more, miles every weekend to never miss my son’s hockey and lacrosse games 10 months out of the year.
  • And, spending too many dollars a year on our family’s dog, because first-world problems aren’t really problems at all with a wagging tail close by.

For what are you most thankful this year? We’d love to hear from you, too.

Meredith Masse is SVP at ICC, Inc., OI Global Partner in Denver and Cincinnati. Meredith’s personal mission is to partner with organizations to create “best places to work” filled with engaged employees and “follower-worthy” managers and leaders. While she personally specializes in leveraging natural strengths and creative instincts in the workplace – through team development programs as well as through career coaching and pre-hire selection and development assessments – she’s probably best known for breaking into song at the drop of a hat, knowing the University of Maryland fight song by heart and being the loudest mom on the sidelines and in the stands. Connect with her: www.linkedin.con/in/MeredithMasse and

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