The year was 1979. A young bank management trainee in St. Joseph, Missouri was 200 miles from home and planning to spend a low key Thanksgiving Day as he had to work on Friday.
The trainee was at Edna Dolan’s teller window and Edna asked, “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” Upon hearing that the trainee did not have significant plans, Edna said, “No one should have to spend Thanksgiving alone. You have to come over and spend Thanksgiving with us.” By now, you have figured out that the young employee was me and I will never forget Edna and Gene Dolan for welcoming me into their home.
So here we are in the holiday season of 2014 and it seems appropriate to count our blessings. Think of the gifts we have received! Despite its flaws, our country is the envy of the world. Unemployment continues to fall. Regardless of headlines often to the contrary, our political system continues to allow a brand of freedom to exist that is the envy of the world. I hope your family continues to provide love, encouragement, and sustainment for you. Yes, we all have much for which to be thankful.
This holiday season, think of Edna Dolan, who embodied the spirit of Thanksgiving. Yes, count your blessings. But why not go out of your way to find someone who needs a gift and give them that gift, whatever it may be? Edna understood that Thanksgiving would be much better for a 25 year old if he was able to enjoy a family Thanksgiving dinner. May we all recognize and seize opportunities to give when they are presented to us.
With that, I wish you the best this holiday season and have a wonderful and prosperous 2015.