The backstory: Working with teenagers means high emotions. Several times each year I spend time with a tearful or angst-ridden teenager who has been disappointed by something or someone. When that happens, I listen, offer the usual sensible advice, and then gently point out that if this is the biggest disappointment to ever come their way they will have a very happy life. On Monday, one of my Model Congress team members came by to review the weekend's events and I expected to trot out my usual platitude.
Senator X: To be honest, Ms. Sassafras, I thought that I might win a gavel.
Me: I thought so too; debating ideas is your strong suit. But you never know how these things can play out. What would you have done different?
Senator X: I haven't really been thinking about that. But I have been thinking that I've got a lot to be thankful for. Even if I never win a gavel, I've got a pretty great life. I'm at this school, my family is healthy, my parents are happy and good to me. I've just got a lot to be thankful for. So it will be okay.
Me: Young man, you are wise beyond your years.
Conversations like this are a reminder of why I am so thankful for my job. And there is much more for me to grateful about: I am thankful for a healthy family, a laughing son, a comfortable home, my garden, my cats, and so much more. I hope that you have much to be celebrate today.