Friday, November 28, 2008


Now that the food and travel of Thanksgiving have passed, I'm spending the morning eating leftover pie, drinking coffee, leafing through retail sales circulars, and considering all the things I am thankful for. Friends and family go without saying. This has been quite a year to date so items are making the list that have rarely if ever been on the list before:

My job - despite the normal frustrations that come with every job, I am especially grateful for my current position because the day-to-day tasks and the big picture view get me up out of bed every morning. I'm learning this is a rare blessing.

A place to call home - my friend, Monika among many other people close to me, are quite shocked that I have lived at one physical address for longer than a year. That hasn't happened since 1998. Ten years of moving at least once a year. Good grief. And now I am finally in a city that is comfortable and feels like home. I feel a sense of ownership and belonging that I haven't found before in my life. The stability of that sends waves of peace into my life that I have not had before.

Interesting times at a young age - the economy, politics, social activism. We are living in unprecedented conditions and if we can push aside the sense of uncertainty that invades our lives regularly, it is truly a spectacular opportunity for learning. To have this privilege so early on in my life and career is a tremendous gift that will inform many decisions I will make in the year to come.

The opportunity that lies ahead - we may look out into the world at the moment and see a very bleak picture. Though hidden within the folds of that bleak cover, there are wrinkles and pockets of opportunity. Going forward, there will be incentives for us to start businesses, to become a society of savers rather than spenders, to take up the call to protect the environment, and to build better transportation systems in our cities that will benefit generations to come. The good times will roll again, though in different, and dare I say better, forms that before.

In business school, Frank Warnock was one of my economics professors. Frank developed his expertise in international capital flows as a Senior Economist in the International Finance Division at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, DC. And whenever we reviewed cases or economic situations that were troubling, he would always say, "You have to be hopeful. What's the alternative?" Those words ring truer today than ever before. And for hope, and the people who remind me of its value, I am most thankful.

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