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Ahhh. The holiday season. Throwing your back out putting up the tree. Airing of grievances. Awkward political conversations over dinner. And shopping. More shopping.
But ultimately, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks.
As the season starts in full tilt, it’s always a great idea to give thanks to the people around us who help us. Are there people in your lives who have made meaningful contributions? Here are a few of the groups of people we here at Vocoli would like to recognize.
Let’s face it, we often spend more time with our co-workers than with our own families. We’re thankful we have such great people from different cultural and generational backgrounds. These varying perspectives make us better at what we do by challenging us with generational perspectives, new ideas, varying ways of thinking, solutions to problems that have eluded us or product suggestions that make our product or service better. Plus, sometimes colleagues just provide an enriching personal perspective that helps make our day more interesting and rewarding. Face it, it’s easier to come into work when you have great people who work well together.
This doesn’t mean our work has to be a cure for cancer or the next advancement in solar energy. Work helps all of us in more fundamental, often overlooked ways.
For starters, the work we do puts food on our tables and roofs over our heads.
(That’s pretty meaningful)
Whether it’s a client ordering a coffee or a complex piece of software, we should appreciate and value them. And (funny how this works) when we demonstrate our appreciation of clients, they respond by enriching our lives in so many more ways than providing a simple paycheck--they share outstanding business advice, product enhancement suggestions and, yes, even personal stories that make us more successful and also more fun to come to work.
From the coffee shop employee who greets us with a smile (despite having been up since 4am) to the service tech who restores our Internet when things go down, to the contractor who fixes the street in front of our building--let’s be grateful.
From an extra tip in the jar to a smile and a wave, we can all afford to show some thanks and appreciation for the folks who make our daily life easier. If someone has made an extra special contribution this year (did someone stay late with your child when you had a daycare pick up issue or was someone just super sweet and friendly every day?), maybe it’s a good idea to show them you appreciate them with a little gift card or a bigger than usual tip.
Let’s face it, we tend to think of charities in need around the holidays, but the volunteers and paid staff who deliver services are there year round for their constituents.
These organizations make people’s lives better and deserve our thanks. This is a great time of year to make clothing and food bank donations and to offer up volunteer service for those in need by serving meals, wrapping gifts or sorting and shelving items. If you can, this is also a good time of year to offer your time and treasure and possibly make an annual commitment to an organization doing work you believe in.
When you see a bell ringer or a soup kitchen employee or a hospital volunteer, be sure to say a kind work of thanks. This work can be tiring and depressing at times and just a kind word, sincerely offered, can let someone know the difference they are making is appreciated--fuel for the fire!
As we all know, there are those in our communities whose job requires them to run towards danger when most sane folks would flee.
Our military, police, fire and EMT folks are currently performing under stress levels most of us can’t even begin to imagine. Our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers work crazy hours to heal us when we’re hurt or sick. This time of year can be especially hard on our fellow citizens in military, safety and health professions because their work is stressful on it’s own, and yet, it so often takes them away from the support system of friends and family. From the deployed soldier to the first responder or medical person at work while the rest of their family is trying to celebrate with an empty place at the table, let’s be thankful.
If you encounter these folks, it’s never a bad idea to share a smile and a kind word.
Through good and bad times, our families are there for us. Have your family members ever borne the brunt of your work stress? Have they stepped up to help you out when you’ve dropped the ball on something? Made your dinner and kept it warm for you because you were working late? Picked up the slack for you and given you a weekend for yourself to relax and regroup? While we should do so year round, this time of year is a great time to think about the family we have and how they’ve contributed to our success and happiness.
Yes, it’s a great time to reflect and be sure we’ve reciprocated and pulled our weight. Finally, if you have a family member with whom you’ve quarreled, this is a good time of year to realize, life is short and extend an olive branch to see if the wounds can be healed and the friendship restored.
These are just some of the many people for whom we are thankful. We’re sure you have your own list of folks and hopefully, this post will remind you of some of them. Reach out and let people know they are appreciated, you will MAKE THEIR DAY (and maybe yours as well)!
Here at Vocoli, we’re thankful for all of you and we wish all a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.
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