Thursday, November 22

Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving

Last weekend, my son was pretty upset after his plans to spend the afternoon with a friend fell through. He was rightfully disappointed, then started to sulk.

It may come as no surprise to some, but I’m not a big fan of anyone moping around, especially when it seems to be a plea for misery to have company. So I shared with him a little bit of wisdom and set him out on a task.

“Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rather than losing your present to a past you wish might have been, why not get to work on a project, I said. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it would be great of you to make a book of 10 things you might be thankful for, using art, words, and pictures.

He went right to it.

Since I’m not one to ask another to do a task that I myself would be unwilling to take, I set out to do the same — except mine comes in the form of a post, rather than ten pages of copy paper bound between construction paper with twine (Paper? How barbaric of me, I know.)

There is a lot to be thankful for, every minute of every day, as one of my friends (and client) likes to say. Here are ten at random.

iTunes. Yep, as silly as it sounds, portable entertainment still amazes me. Music sets a great pace for the gym; lectures from Stanford add value while cleaning house; and downloadable shows, they certainly came in handy during the 4-hour wait at the DMV. It’s media snacking at its best.

Communication Arts. If there was ever a case for printed publications, CA is it. Anytime I become frustrated by the abuses within our industry (meaningless creative, distress ads, and faux rules), CA reminds me that there is some amazing commercial talent out there.

One random call. You never really know if what you teach will be applied until a student calls from a bookstore to ask which book you recommend; and then wants to make sure she’s enrolled in anyother classes I might teach this spring. I’m teaching three, including social media.

The Recruiting Animal. Sure, he might be billed as the recruiting industry’s unabashed shock jock, but he quickly became one of my most trusted friends online. Never mind that I still pack silver when I’m around him. As I am with all my friends, online or off, I’m thankful to have them.

My daughter’s feet. The staph infection that had worked its way into the bones during our daughter’s first three months of life (a year and a half ago) will leave no permanent damage. We found out last week. It’s hard to believe she was once the size of a 12 oz. water bottle. Grateful doesn’t begin to measure little things as they relate to family.

Jericho fans. Who would have ever guessed that asking a simple question, like what would you do with 22,000 pounds of nuts, last May would have resulted to our longest-running dual case study. Jericho fans still amaze me, and watching Jane Sweat evolve as a blogger has been a gift. Check out her newest endeavor.

BlogCatalog. There are many social networks, and I appreciate several. But the BlogCatalog team and its members keep it real. Although I tend to focus on social media as applied to business communication, they are the ones who remind me it is often the least linked private blogs that add real value (more tomorrow).

Our clients. I rarely write about clients here, mostly because I find the daunting demands of disclosure as set by social media often irrelevant, inconsistent, and distracting (as if relationships somehow make us less than objective when objectivity is called upon). Even though I don’t highlight them here, I’m grateful for every assignment, account, and relationship. There would be no blog, nonprofit contributions, or university classes to teach without them.

Patrick Bertoletti. He set the world record for consuming four and three quarter pounds of turkey at the Thanksgiving Invitational eating contest two years ago. He did it in 12 minutes. What better way to add wonderment to a holiday. That and 110-foot Superman balloon that floated down Broadway during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thanks, George, for our nation’s very first Thanksgiving proclamation.

Where The Wild Things Are. A book that reminds me, no matter what you do or where you go in life, taking friends, family, colleagues, clients, readers, and whomever for granted is easy. That is, until you no longer have them.

"... and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him ... and it was still hot."

Happy Thanksgiving.



Sweet Tea on 11/22/07, 12:16 PM said...

Well, Rich, you've finally done it. I am crying like a baby. This post will forever be one I reread and enjoy. I am certainly thankful for you and your kindness, your lessons, and your special way with words.
I needed this post today and I am reminded of something my grandmother once told me. Before she died she told me,"I will always be here if you need me."
Rich, you were here for me today and I am most thankful.

Rich on 11/22/07, 12:40 PM said...


As long as they are tears of happiness, I'm good with that. I'm so very glad that this post found you when you needed it most. It's easy to write something when its true.

Hey, my grandmother too. And you know what my dear, she still is, much like yours is today, tucked away in your heart, memories, and experiences. Seldom a day goes by that we aren't touched by them. Love doesn't fade.

All my best,

Unknown on 11/22/07, 1:01 PM said...

Great post, Rich. I particularly like your advice about getting involved in a solid project to ward of the blahs.
And I've been following your blog for a bit (ever since you helpfully chimed in on the MyRagan debate going on at my blog) but never knew that you were a teacher.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving (we celebrate a month before you up here!)


Anonymous said...

Thanks Rich for another great post. Too many times people never appreciate how things impact their lives. Now, I'm going to see what 10 things I'm thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mr Moustache, That was a surprise and very enjoyable.

I like you too. (And I think you're possibly quite unique as the only totally non-recruiter in Recruiterville).

I liked the Emerson quote a lot. Isn't that the fundamental issue of life, trying to move someone or oneself from the useless to the worthwhile. And it isn't always as easy as it was with your son.

Best Wishes on American Thanksgiving. Ours is a minor holiday in October.

businesscreditcards on 11/22/07, 7:58 PM said...

good post. You are a blessings to others. Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Rich on 11/23/07, 1:59 PM said...

Thanks Parker, that is great to hear; I continue to enjoy your blog too. Yes, I teach on the side. I mention it now and again, but I'm not big on title dropping. That stuff is better for Linkedin. Ha!

Ichthus, It's amazing what you did with the idea on the CBS Message Boards. Very inspiring.

Animal, It's easier (but not necessarily easy) after you learn how, but the path is as thin as a razor's edge. And yes, I kind of like being the non-recruiter in recruiterville ... much more interesting than my own industry on somedays.

BCCS, Thanks. And Happy Thanksgiving again.

All my best,

maybei on 11/25/07, 12:57 PM said...

Lovely message! And I especially liked your quote!!

Rich on 11/25/07, 4:01 PM said...

Thanks Maybei,

I sincerely hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful. Lots to be thankful for. :)

All my best,


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