Here is a short movie clip from "Bella" about thankfulness.
You are who you are because of so many other people!
I could bench press 365 lbs. when I was a senior in high school…..way back in the fall of 1984. Thanks to how strong I was and the work I put in. Wrong! Thanks to my brother, Steve who pushed me to lift weights throughout high school.
I had a 3.9 GPA in high school and a 3.4 GPA at Michigan State University. Thanks to how smart I was and how hard I studied. Wrong! Thanks to my dad, sister, mother and brother who demanded excellence from me in the classroom.
I became a head high school football coach at the tender age of 28. Thanks to my brilliant dedication to the program and coaching ability. Wrong! Thanks to my mentor and friend, Tim Odom and his dad and the coaches and administration at Simon Kenton H.S. who taught me and believed in me.
I am a loving father and husband, who is ranked in the nation for active and loving dads/husbands. Thanks to my overflowing love and complete selflessness I practice on a regular daily basis. Wrong! Thanks to God above, and my parents, friends (Matt Vanderbeek, John Murray, Jerry Angers, to name a few) and others who have encouraged and helped me. (C.J. too of course!).
Heck, the more I think about it, so many others deserve the credit for the accomplishments I have achieved in this life. Wow, do I have talented friends!!
Why do we think all our accomplishments are all about us?? What makes us cherish our abilities so much, blinded, not realizing those people who have nurtured and shared their knowledge with us our entire life. From our 1st grade teacher who taught us to read,(Mrs. Bethume) to our next door neighbor who taught us how to fix a toilet.(thanks Jeff Sweeney!)
So many people help us every day. So many people will help me tomorrow. So many people will help me next year. I have so many people in my corner, so many people rooting for me. I am so blessed! People encourage me from near and far, my next door neighbors, Ray and Nina Whittaker, to Father Eamon Kelly in Jerusalem. People encourage me, dead and alive, Steve Furness and Ron Hughes to Maria Willertz, my 3 year old daughter. There are SO many people who have made me the man I am today and are working hard to make me better tomorrow.
The same is true for all of us. Millions of people dead and alive are rooting for you, are pulling for you, are helping you in countless seemingly insignificant ways.
With the 4th of July just passing a week ago or so, I think we should think about this. So many people have given their lives for you and me, great Americans like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington who risked their lives in a hopeless revolt to give Americans a great life. Listen people, a great life, not a good life, a great life! Take the time to think about them. Take the time to thank them.
Take the time to think about the many people that have given their lives for you personally, fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers. Take the time to realize everything you know or think you know was because of somebody else. And once you start feeling really humble and grateful………. then do it for somebody else.
Be a hero to a player, a next door neighbor, your great grandson that you will never meet in this life, the one that won’t be born until after you die. Be a hero to the poor and the homeless. Pray and root for others. Share what blessings you have been given (not earned) and make somebody else’s life great. It’s called the Circle of Life. Watch Lion King and let Walt Disney remind you.