the torch Winter 2015, Issue 4 - Page 4

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT A few weeks ago, I hosted a birthday dinner for my daughter and my two granddaughters. It was a few days after the tragedy in France. One of my granddaughters asked me about what happened. It was a tough question. I couldn’t begin to explain that senseless, harmful event. But, the subsequent outpouring of support for the citizens of France reinforced that it is both inspiring and humbling when one sees examples of people reaching out to help their fellow human beings in selfless, beneficent ways. These acts — both big and small — change the lens through which we see situations. Often, the holiday season can prove to be a time of reflection and gratitude: a time to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. And, by “blessings,” we invariably think of the things we think of as “good.” Family. Friends. Fellowship. For some, however, the holidays can be lonely and painful. Our nightly news reminds us that we are living in turbulent times. For this reason, I contend this is the time to move back into a state of gratitude for all 4 the blessings that we do have. In the wake of tragedy, we see an outpouring of love in countless, tiny kindnesses. We observe poignant examples of compassion and caring. My hope is that out of chaos will come something beautiful and even stronger than what was lost. As I look around at the various challenges people I know are facing, I am so grateful that we are together as we go through these times. I am pretty sure as humans we agreed to do this together; be there for one another. No one said it would be easy, but we can do it and we can do it more easily when we connect with each other. Our families. Our friends. Our colleagues. When you lean on them, they will become your levity and your gravity. You will be more than able to cope with whatever the world brings your way. I ask everyone having a rough time to take a moment and to honestly reach for the feeling of gratitude. How can we find gratitude in a world that seeks to destroy it? Choose it. Intentionally. You’ll likely not find gratitude in your next purchase; it is available in your heart right now. Count your blessings. This practice has the potential to fill your heart. Stop focusing on what you don’t have. Too many people never realize gratitude because they spend so much mental energy focused on what they don’t have. Open your eyes to those with less. Let a feeling of gratitude restore you and give you energy and the hope to move forward. Sometimes we give thanks for the smallest things. And that moment of thankfulness can usually more than balance the scales in the long run. Life lived in gratitude is the truest measure of joy. Rowland K. Robinson President Baylor Health Care System Foundation Robinson@BaylorHealth.edu