Christmas, A Season for Gratitude

Cocoa the Cat

The snow is falling gently at my home in Colorado and it reminds me of the purity of birth that Christians celebrate at this time of year.

One of the purest ways to communicate is to express gratitude. This is one of the practices of cooperative communication. There are so many way to express gratitude. A thank-you when someone does something nice is a good start, since we often take these simple acts for granted. There are people in our lives who are often unseen as we go rushing through our lives, like the person behind the counter at the post office who scarcely has time to look up from work for the throngs of people sending out and picking up holiday packages and greeting cards. This year I decided to bake some cookies for our post office staff in my little home town. I took them in last Saturday about 15 minutes before closing. The line was about 40 people long and it was so hot in there. I just walked up to the middle clerk and put the cookies on her weight scale and said, “Merry Christmas, thanks for all that you do.” All 3 clerks looked up at the same time, somewhat dazed from their frenetic pace, and smiled. The cookies evaporated…I had been meaning to do this for several years, but had never remembered. My husband and I sent out many Christmas packages that day, and were happy to share a little gratitude in the midst of the holiday craziness.

This Christmas is bittersweet for me as I mourn the loss of my Dad who died just before Thanksgiving. It takes a while to bring the good memories to the forefront of one you were with pretty intensely as he died.

I like the anticipation that accompanies the Christmas season. When I think about my Dad I anticipate how my life is going to change as I more avidly bring in his good practices into my life. I am so grateful to have been influenced by this good man. He was very warm and giving, and shared a great enthusiasm for life. It’s one thing to bring these practices into your personal life, but I find it more challenging to bring them into business since business is often so self-centered, especially in competitive intelligence, where often companies are looking to be better at the expense of their competitors. Maybe it’s time for me to shift my focus towards opportunity analysis, that is helping companies uncover and develop business opportunities. Competitive analysis is a part of the process, but looking ahead and anticipating and planning are the focus of this initiative.

Ever since Dad died I have brought this blog back more to its original focus of cooperative intelligence since it focuses on being warm and giving—a lot like my Dad.

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