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Giving Thanks

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By Jack Cumming

There’s nothing more memorable about Thanksgiving than a family sitting down for a shared meal and good will. Norman Rockwell captured our hope for our national day of thanks better than anyone else.

For those us who live and work with the elderly, though, the careers for which we are thankful can often seem as daunting as the turkey confronting the young man in this picture. Not surprisingly, he is seeking help from the Almighty as he contemplates what lies ahead.

Our nation is now confronting the largest demographic challenge to the senior housing industry in its history. It requires all our best efforts, and a boost from the Almighty, to overcome and prevail. But as we gather now with our families to commemorate the many blessings that we share, we give thanks, too, for the nobility of the calling that we all serve.

Charles Dickens famously wrote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”  Our world in senior housing can seem that way, too. Yet, let’s pause today – of all days – to ponder the many blessings that are ours.

We thank you, God, for Brookdale, which shows us that even great enterprises can stumble, but with time they can find their way forward and our world is better for their trying. We thank you for technologists, who apply their creativity to provide the tools to meet the challenges of aging in the 21st century. We thank you for executive directors, who leave the comfort of their homes – when duty calls – to meet the crises that seem to recur unexpectedly and often in the dark hours of the night. We thank you for the humble laborers who give their hearts to others in return for compensation that is far too low for what they give. We thank you, God, for giving us the strength to rise to our calling and to meet the needs of many.

We are truly blessed to be working in an industry that serves humankind and that puts others before self. For that and all the joy that is ours, we thank thee, God, on this our Day of Thanksgiving. 

Picture courtesy of Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA.

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