"Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged"

Helen Keller

Here in America we celebrate Thanksgiving at the end of November, it is a time to reflect on all that is good in our lives and to give thanks to those who are nearest and dearest to us and also those who may be far away from us but protect us day in and day out so that we may enjoy our lives and the people in them. Originally back in 1619 a group of pilgrims and Wompanoag Indians decided to celebrate the harvest by sharing a meal together. These two groups of people probably knew very little about each other but they found it in their hearts to make the effort to step out of their comfort zone and do something good for the human race. As we look around us at the world we live in today we, as studio or school owners, have to be thankful for being in the position of going to work each day to our own place of business and having the privilege of shaping the minds and bodies of some of the youth of today. We are in the position in many cases of being able to provide stable and fulfilling work to our teachers and staff, a welcoming and secure place where parents feel good about leaving their children for hours on end and a chance for us to do something positive for our local communities.

When you really think about all the things we have to be thankful for it is truly amazing! I know that at every school and studio there are many ups and downs and day to day issues that have to be faced and dealt with but when you really sit down and take a moment to reflect you can end up with quite a long list of reasons to give thanks. I love this time of year for that reason because it gives me the opportunity to really come up with all the great positives in my life. I also know that although I can sit and reflect on those things that I am most grateful for, I also know that it is no good keeping it to myself I need to let all of those people know what a difference they make in my life.

As I watched the news the other day and saw images of families with young children fleeing from their war torn country, it really struck home to me and made me realize that the very fact that I could be sitting in my home watching television feeling warm and secure was the most important reason for me to do more to help those around me. Each one of us has our own ideas on who to thank and who to help. So often we forget to let the people who are constantly around us know how much we value them. Depending on what we are capable of doing, it needs to be remembered that it is not always the grand gesture that becomes special to the recipient.

I made myself a list of people that I need to remember at this special time of year but also left myself a reminder that it is not just at Thanksgiving that I need to remember these people. Had it not been for those Pilgims and Wompanoag Indians in 1619 who found a way to get together despite their differences and Abraham Lincoln who made this an official holiday, we would not have had this day of celebration that exists in the USA.

My Thank You List

1) My Husband

2) My Family

3) Bert and Frasier

4) My closest friends

5) My mentors

6) My Staff and teachers

7) My present students

8) Their parents

9) My former students

10) Their parents

11) My business associates

12) The dance community

13) Everyone who helps me have a better life be it the cleaning lady, my landlord, my local bagel shop that gives me huge bags of bagels to share with my students!

The list could go on and on as there is always someone else that I suddenly realize that I need to be thankful for. Most of all I am so thankful to my parents for helping me to pursue and become successful on the journey of dance that surely chose me. I love what I do, I have a passion for dance and as I continue my journey I love to share the knowledge given to me along the way by so many clever and talented people. I mean to make it my purpose to help as many people that I can possibly touch to share the same joy that I am so fortunate to feel.