By Gregory T. Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer, Penn-Mar Human Services | Chief Executive Officer, Penn-Mar Foundation
Gratitude for what you have. Holidays have a way of making people feel joyful, nostalgic and sometimes disconnected. Let’s make this a time to focus on our good memories and relationships, the challenges overcome, the lessons learned, and the small miracles happening all around us.
Gregory Miller President/CEO Penn-Mar Human Services
Generosity with praise. Who are the people that have stayed by your side during difficulties, offered a kind word that made all the difference, or shared their knowledge to help you make better choices for better outcomes? Don’t wait another minute to thank them and tell them how much their counsel and concern has meant to you.
Gifts of value. Model the behavior and gestures that have meant so much to your life, your circle of loved ones, and your encounters with strangers. Consider “gifting” a word of encouragement, a solution to a problem, a gift from the heart, a contribution to ease financial worry or offer your time to help where needed.
The choice to be healthy. The stress of COVID has caused some people to disengage from life and relationships, and others to take on additional responsibilities that are crushing their spirit. Give yourself permission to take better care of your mind and body and see it as a sign of strength to ask for help if you can’t do it alone. Take small steps to return to the world, or a vacation to retreat from it.
The ability to savor the moment.2020 looks best in a rear view mirror. 2021 didn’t live up to the promise. Can’t we just get back to a normal life in 2022? You’re here today because you survived the past. You were forced to take risks and overcome challenges when you were thrown out of your comfort zone. Who knows what next year will bring. Savor each moment and try to recognize the opportunities that adversity can bring. Don’t wish away the good stuff and more will come your way.
Trust. In many ways, COVID has robbed us of feeling grateful and secure in the moment. Fear can often overtake us. And when fear motivates, we can’t make the best decisions for ourselves. The true meaning of Christmas is about relationships and trust. Remember that God is pursuing us as opposed to us pursuing Him. Hand over your burdens and hopes and let Him lead.
Belief in yourself.That job starts with you. No one can do that for you. Despite all the turmoil in our world and daily lives, our hearts have the ability to lead us to a place of greater understanding and abundance if we believe we have the power within us to change things.
Time to take a deep breath. You’ve earned a time of reflection, stillness. That may sound impossible with all the demands swirling around us during the holidays but it’s an exercise we can all practice daily, whatever the moment in time, however brief the respite.
The feeling of love, safety and security. Each day is filled with a degree of uncertainty. So it’s important to intentionally lean into that place where our true values and security lie. Our leadership at Penn-Mar is committed to adding opportunity and value not just to the lives of the people with disabilities who we support but to all of our valued team members.
The best year yet to come. My closing holiday wish is that together we continue to get better and better at what we do for the people we support, serving as a community that truly cares for one another.
All the best to you, your families, and loved ones for a safe and happy holiday season!