With the holidays approaching, especially Thanksgiving, we are encouraged to reflect upon that for which we are grateful. Thankfulness doesn’t have to be associated solely with Turkey Day, does it? Why limit ourselves to a day or a season of gratitude? Gratitude should be year-round.

How about “Thank You Thursdays” at the office or “Let’s Get Grateful Day?” I know I close most of my email correspondence with “thanks” or “thank you” or “thanks again.” Everyone likes to feel appreciated, even if it is as simple as a written or spoken thank you.

I recently attended Paraquad’s annual Shine the Light Awards for the first time. The event recognizes the special contributions of businesses, organization and individuals that make our community a more welcoming, more accessible and a more equitable place for people with disabilities. In fact, everyone seated at my table was a “first-timer” to the event. I can tell you that gratitude was everywhere. You could see it, hear it and feel it. The experience was awesome and impressive.

So I thought to myself, “How great would it be to be able to see, hear and feel gratitude like that on a regular basis?”

Yes, there were colored lights, jazzy music, food and festivities at the event, but it was really about celebrating, recognizing and thanking the people and the potential present. It was a platform from which to view the struggle, hardship, success and gratitude for the past and present with a vision of future opportunity.

Here I go: Thanks for reading my blog. I am thankful to be celebrating my first year of employment at Paraquad. That wasn’t too hard. Here’s to celebrating, recognizing and thanking the people and potential of our community! Gratitude … pass it on.

Mary Thompson is the Accessibility Specialist at Paraquad. She can be reached at

Photo credit: happy_serendipity

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