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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Is a Gift We Give Ourselves, Reminding Us How Blessed We Are

[Published on Thanksgiving Day, 2011, in the Denver Post]

With all the news from around the world, we hardly need a reminder that we have much for which we can be thankful.  Thanksgiving is our opportunity to remember that. I don’t know of any other country besides Canada which has a day set aside solely to contemplate one’s blessings.

When I give the opening prayer at my weekly Rotary meeting, I like to say that “We are blessed, and we are a blessing.” In other words, it is because we are so blessed that we are able to bless others with our gifts of time, love, financial assistance and service.  It is out of our gratitude for how blessed we are that we are driven to do good in the world — and Rotarians do a world of good!

What are you thankful for? It’s a metaphysical law that we draw to us more of what we think about, so let’s think positives, not negatives!

I’ll start with my family, especially my now-deceased father, Abbott Smith, who taught me values I still hold dear. He was never a Rotarian, but those values he taught me are entirely congruent with the values of Rotary.

My family moved from Maine to Colorado when I was in kindergarten, and for that I couldn’t be more grateful! Somehow I was lucky enough to be enrolled in St. Anne’s Episcopal School, where I was taught first and second grade by then-Sister Irene, the school’s now deceased founder. What a blessing that was!

Space doesn’t allow me to recount my other personal blessings, so I’ll limit myself here to listing some professional blessings. It starts with being introduced to real estate as a career by the fine people at Coldwell Banker, including Kathy MacLeod and Rich Sands. I still recommend that agents begin their career at CB, even though I moved on to RE/MAX Alliance and then launched Golden Real Estate.

Being rather outspoken, I know that I have irritated some of my colleagues in the business, especially in my early years, and for that I apologize. Nonetheless, I am grateful for what I have learned from many of them and from people in related industries such as lending, inspection, appraisal and repair. I am so much smarter than I was 10 years ago, thanks to them.

And, of course, I am thankful for the several hundred clients who have honored me with their business.  Without the experience I gained from serving them, I wouldn’t be nearly as knowledgeable.

My wife, Rita, has been my love and inspiration since we met in 2003, and I wouldn’t be the success I am today without her presence in my life. I wish all could have the kind of relationship we enjoy.

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