Gratitude - March 26, 2021

We owe debt of gratitude that exists for all those that helped us become who we are and capable of what we are able to do.

Posted
March 26, 2021
Graphic of head with talk bubble above

Gratitude - March 26, 2021

We owe debt of gratitude that exists for all those that helped us become who we are and capable of what we are able to do.

Posted
March 26, 2021

"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." -Jack Welch

JFS Friends – 

A good friend and colleague of mine from the early part of my career studied eastern philosophy and was fond of saying:

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

I never discovered the origin of this teaching but it as stuck with me ever since. It is a reminder that no matter how big, complicated or intimidating and obstacle may appear there is expert advice out in the world but I have to make myself ready to see it and to be open to seeing the situation from a different perspective.

I have been very fortunate to have benefited from a number of mentors throughout my life and career that came into my life at moments when I was struggling with various issues. This mentoring was especially important at points where my career shifted focus –for example, when I left clinical practice to take on a management role, when I left acute care hospitals to focus my career on rehabilitation and – more recently – when I left hospitals to come to work at JFS.

I found, like Oprah Winfrey points out, that it was often the case that my mentors saw something in me before I even saw it for myself. They provided support and encouragement until I gained my footing and grew in my confidence.

Oprah Winfrey puts it this way:

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”

Denzel Washington beautifully expresses the debt of gratitude that exists for all those that helped us become who we are and capable of what we are able to do. He says:

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life.

I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”

Washington is reminding us that most things worth doing in life cannot be done alone – look closely enough and you will see a team that is helping, cheering, guiding and lifting up when things get difficult.

As my career has progressed, I have had the great privilege to be a mentor for others – to extend to them the same help that I received at critical times in my own journey. Every time the opportunity arises I am reminded of a quote from Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers).

Rabbi Hanina said:

“I have learned much from my teachers and even more from my friends, but from my students I have learned more than from all of them.”

Indeed this is so true – each time I become a mentor I realize that it is a reciprocal relationship and though I am the designated coach – I come away from each interaction learning something new.

In a week when I am full of gratitude for being granted a few moments in the spotlight, I want to be sure to express my deep gratitude to each of you for what you have taught me, the patience you have shown and for the ways that you lift up those around you to help each of us do better and be better.

This weekend as Shabbat bumps up against the start of Pesach giving us the opportunity for a more extended time for rest, reflection and celebration with our family and friends – one of the things I will be giving thanks for is that I have the privilege to do what I love each day surrounded by people I respect and admire.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach,

Carl Josehart's signature

Carl E. Josehart, MSW (he/him/his)

Chief Operating Officer

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