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You'll Never Walk Alone

When I was in high school, John Hampton and I sang “You’ll never walk alone” for the memorial service of a beloved guidance counselor. The lyrics were comforting then and now:

“When you walk through a storm

Hold your head up high

And don't be afraid of the dark

At the end of a storm

There's a golden sky

And the sweet silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind

Walk on through the rain

Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart

And you'll never walk alone

You'll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart

And you'll never walk alone

You'll never walk alone”

~ Songwriters: Oscar Hammerstein II / Richard Rodgers

A colleague and I were discussing this year’s Thanksgiving message a few days ago and I found it  harder than normal because of how very difficult this year has been for all of us, for so many reasons. My heart breaks for the many changes we have all had to endure over the past few months; but my gratefulness for being alive still sustains me. I am free to be who I choose to be: a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a speaker, an author, a business leader, and an American who can pursue my happiness every day. 

Thanksgiving is a happy time of year as we look back with gratitude and look forward with excitement. At the moment, uncertainties of every kind are overwhelming our world and our country, and nothing feels quite right. The world is in turmoil; the virus threatens our lives; civil discord defines our conversation and threatens our safety; and hateful controversy permeates our media. A recent Facebook post from someone I admired was so ugly and hateful it made me cry.

I’m not a person who lingers too long in despair and this Thanksgiving season offers heartfelt hope to help get us all through these challenging times, creating space for joy over the coming holidays.

TalenTrust’s theme this year is “Put people first,” and that  won’t change in 2021. When the welfare of the people around you is your first consideration, magical things can happen. Where would we be without the courage and dedication of our healthcare workers and first responders? Where would we be without our neighbors helping neighbors in streets across the country and the world? Where would we be without the help of our government and the CARES Act? Remember how an Italian community joined together via song early on in their shutdown? How can we not feel grateful for them? When we think of the lovely relationship between Justices Ginsberg and Scalia, far left and far right in perspective, working and laughing together yet vehemently disagreeing, how can we not follow their lead?

Much of what’s happening at the moment is out of our control. But we do have control over how we respond to the discord around us. We can be kind and respectful. We can recognize that our words matter and not use them to hurt. We can show that we value every person. We can stop name calling and labeling. Instead, we can recognize that each of us has a right to the pursuit of happiness but that it can’t be achieved at the expense of others. Whether it’s families, businesses, or communities, we are better together. As Rodney King said years ago, “Can’t we all just get along?” I invite you to join me in a challenge to find gratefulness this Thanksgiving. I’ll do it, you do it, then we all will do it—and together none of us will ever walk alone.

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