The People We See Everyday

PETRIE-KIT-103This Sunday , I gave a homily based on a wonderful book, 365 Thank Yous, The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik.  There are too many good passages to fit in the homily, so I’ll share one here.  John Kralik is a local to Pasadena – in 2007, his life was falling part – divorce, law practice in shambles . . . on January 1, 2008 he decided he would find 365 ways to say thank you that year.  By Thanksgiving, his law practice was back on track, thanks in no small part due to the many thank you notes he had written, and awakening to how blessed he was by the people who surrounded him in the daily fabric of his life.

Here it is:

“A half year had passed since our move to new offices.  As legal cases accumulated, so did the file cabinets in the middle of our space.  But there was still room left.  And on the day before Thanksgiving, the area in front of my desk began to fill with tables and chairs, ham and turkey, cakes and yams, and salad and vegetables assembled by everyone except me.  When our office manager had sent the potluck invitation around, I had been too distracted by the latest emergency motion.”

“After everyone had gathered for our little party, they grew suddenly quiet.  It was one of those silences into which I would ordinarily project a joke.  But I didn’t, and when someone asked if I wanted to say something, this is what I said: “When we began this year, I made a New Year’s resolution that I would try to find one thing each day for which I would be grateful.  It is now November.  I have kept that resolution.  And what I found each day as I searched for someone or something for which to be grateful was that the answer was very often the people I see every morning, who help me through each day, who do the difficult without questioning whether it is necessary, and who look for ways to do more than what is asked.  I have learned how truly lucky I am to have in my life the people who are gathered around this table.  You have made our firm a good one, and made my life a good one.  On Thanksgiving I can truly see at this table how blessed I am and how much I have, how much I should be thankful for.”

“I could see a smile of sympathy in my paralegal’s eyes.  Two of the lawyers looked at each other.  Then someone asked my partner if she wanted to say anything.”

“Not after that,” she said.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Rev. Hannah Petrie

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One Response to The People We See Everyday

  1. Tom Hutchinson says:

    I know what this person means. I also have many people in my life whom to be grateful for. So many people who have been there when I needed the most. I’m grateful to 4 in particular. My #1 best friend, my brother David, who believed in me when I didn’t see anything in myself to believe in. Kelly who saw something in me and helped me to find myself, and a better quality of life. Diane, who loved me and was crazy enough to actually marry me. Christine, whom I’ve known for the last 26 years. The only words I have to describe these 4 people is anam cara, they truly are the friends of my soul.

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