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Thankfulness: One of the BEST Relationship Builders

November 7, 2011

I’ve often been accused of being a “Pollyanna.” If you don’t know what that means, it is someone who always tries to see the good in any situation – even bad or challenging ones.  I learned to think like this because of the influence of one of my favorite childhood books and films, Pollyanna.  The heroine, Pollyanna, was impoverished, orphaned and crippled yet she could always see the beauty and wonder of life.  I liked that outlook. Even as a child, that attitude of hopefulness appealed to me. So, I adopted her attitude and it has, indeed, served me very well.

And, how it has served me is that I have come to the point in my life where I am thankful for each and every person who is in my life or whom I encounter.  I’ve come to understand that each person provides an opportunity for me – as well as for them.  Each opportunity is different as is each person and those opportunities are not what you might think.  I believe that the opportunities I have are ones to personally grow in love, patience and understanding.  They are also – at the same time – opportunities for me to show love, patience and understanding.

Notice that I didn’t include tolerance, acceptance, etc. on that list – because the reality is that there are just some things that I find hard to tolerate OR accept.  And, I pride myself on not be duplicitous or misleading.  So, in most instances, I keep my thoughts private if I find myself in the company of someone whose behavior/ideas/attitude I find intolerable or acceptable.  What I will do is to try and understand why they behave or think the way they do because that can be fascinating. Other people’s stories usually are to me and often explain a lot.

And, this brings me to the point of this post which is that I view every encounter I have with every human being as an opportunity to learn and/or have a positive influence. It is these opportunities for which I am thankful as they are opportunities for relationship building – even if the contact is fleeting and temporary.

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