Gratitude and Serendipity

Before we start our summer fun, let us not forget the solemnity of Memorial Day. It is a time to be grateful.

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Here we are at the starting line of summer, Memorial Day.

And if this summer is like every other one I’ve known (except for the summer when I was 12 and I fractured my pelvis and was in traction for a month), it will go fast. Yes, the days are long but the weeks are short. Yet let us not forget the solemnity of Memorial Day before we start our summer fun. It is a time to be grateful.

In fact most of our national holidays are rooted in collective gratitude. On Memorial Day, of course, we remember and give thanks to those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. On Labor Day, we give thanks to the common workingmen and -women who built our country. The Fourth of July celebrates our independence from England…something that we should be grateful for every day.

I wonder: Is there something you are grateful for every day? I ask because an old friend of mine, John Kralik, has written a book on the subject, 365 Thank Yous.

It’s funny, John and I were friends back in our wild days at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. We both had literary aspirations and I won a couple of big writing prizes that augured well. But John and I drifted away from each other and, to an extent, from our dreams. He became a lawyer and I became…well, you know who I am, I guess.

Then, as it so happened, both of us finally released first books this year. And both books were in part the result of a crisis in our lives. Now we have reconnected. We featured the story behind John’s inspiring book in an uplifting article in Guideposts earlier this year, and John recently blogged about me on his 365 Thank Yous site, revealing some details I might not have personally disclosed about myself.

If you are looking for a good, inspiring read this summer, find out what made my old college buddy John Kralik embark on a year of giving thanks in the form of a letter directed at a specific person in his life every day. It was more than a good deed. It helped John turn his life around. That’s what gratitude can do.

Have a good Memorial Day, everyone.

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