Story: Last week I was listening to a very touching NPR radio piece about a pediatric oncologist, who conducted a precarious cancer intervention on an infant born at 35 weeks. This incredible doctor and support team administered chemotherapy to attack a large spinal tumor the first day the baby was outside the womb. The fear was that without this miraculous act of medicine, the child would die or at minimum suffer severe skeletal and neurological damage. Imagine the feelings of the parents, family, and medical team during this time.
Fast forward a year, and the same doctor was having a fundraiser for pediatric cancer at his home. The family of Henry, the infant noted above, attended and was warmly greeted by the doctor. They had become very familiar but had not seen each other for about six months. The doctor asked the parents how Henry was. They happily proclaimed that he was at the party. The oncologist exclaimed “well wheel him in.” And just as the pediatrician uttered the words, he choked up. Coming right at him was the toddler Henry, ambling through the doorway. In a tender halting voice, the doctor described that profound moment. While he was delighted with the waddle in, it was the size of the SMILE on Henry’s face that radiated ALL. The pure joy of life!
Key Point: It’s the season of Thanksgiving, and all of us know, regardless of how wonderful or difficult things in life may be, it really is important to pause and express gratitude. The benefits of gratitude are scientifically proven, yet when we hear this message, it can sometimes feel like one more thing for an already endless “to do” list. What I loved the most about the Henry story was that at one years old, he was unknowingly the definition of gratitude and a generous GIVER. It was that beaming smile that announced his full of life presence, like “baby, it’s great to be here!” Maybe we can all channel a little from Henry this Thanksgiving?
Lead Yourself Move:
- When you walk into a room this Thanksgiving season, why not both naturally and consciously give others your fully alive smile?
Lead Others Move:
- Repeat the step above.
Giving a grateful smile in Personal Leadership,
One Millennial View: Yeah, while most pre-Thanksgiving rhetoric revolves around anticipating fierce political debates at the dinner table, or wrangling in drunk uncles, it’s refreshing to reflect on the reality of a big smile and the gratitude most of us can fortunately relate to. Henry would probably sit at the kids’ table, but his story delivers a good opportunity for a grown up discussion.
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis