By Jillian Bejtlich, The Community Roundtable
When I was a very little kid, my dad had to constantly remind me to say “thank you” and frankly – I just didn’t get it. It was up there with saying “please”, “excuse me”, and all the other things I just assumed people knew. Obviously I was thankful for things and would be pleased if things went my way, but my little kid brain just didn’t understand why I had to verbalize these things.
Nowadays as a full-fledged adult/overgrown child I have fully grasped why we say thanks (and please). It isn’t for us. It’s for others. It shows we value their input, feedback, collaboration, and all that fun stuff my 5-year old brain couldn’t quite grasp. So today, I’d like to share my #thankitforward picks, and say thanks.
To the people I am surrounded by, thank you for both being here and for sticking around. My five year old self always felt like the weirdo, but it turns out I was just meant to be a community professional. I have never felt more at home in my life surrounded by people who can wear all the hats, have a sense of humor, tell it how it is, and still be their authentically quirky selves. Do I dare say I feel I feel normal around all you lovely people?
To the opportunities I have and the people trusting me with them, thank you for challenging me and making me learn. A wise co-worker once told me to never say “no” or “I don’t know how to do that”. Instead he told me to always say “I don’t know right now, but I will find out”. This mindset has pushed me in so many directions and my knowledge and skills feel like they double every single year. If I have one goal in life, I want to make sure that I challenge others to continue learning. Never stop.
And finally, to my parents who encouraged me to be a quirky and inquisitive child. They never allowed me to box myself into an ideal or stereotype, and instead allowed me to grow up to be an adaptable grown up. For all those who work in community, you know all too well that our world changes all the time thanks to new members, new platforms, and new ideas – so adaption is key.
Happy holidays everyone!