Gratitude for the Service of Others

1.John LundBy John B. Lund, President & Chief Executive Officer

On a recent visit to one of the country’s larger cities, I arrived several hours prior to my first meeting. With the extra time, I decided to go for a walk/run in an effort to get my daily steps in.

As I headed down the street, I came upon a small park with a three-lane, quarter-mile track around the perimeter, which made it the ideal place to exercise without having to deal with traffic, etc.

During my first lap, I noticed an older gentleman pushing a young man in a wheelchair who was mentally & physically disabled. The two were softly conversing, with the boy smiling and clearly pleased to have the company. On another turn, I saw the man massaging the shoulders and neck of his younger companion. The next time around, the gentleman had moved to a location offering a different view. This heartfelt interaction between the two continued the entire hour I spent at the park.

By himself, this young man couldn’t experience the basic joys of life many of us take for granted. Yet this kind gentleman intuitively perceived how he could help the boy savor this valuable time outside on beautiful warm afternoon.

As I made my way around and around the track, time seemed to pass much more quickly as I forgot about my minor aches and pain by focusing on the beautiful act of service I saw. I felt a powerful sense of gratitude toward this gentleman. It was inspirational witnessing such thoughtful and tender service. This motivated me to think a little bit less about myself and to be more sensitive to the needs of others.

During November, we celebrate Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving. Hopefully, we can all pause to recognize and openly thank those who have served this country and those who are now defending our freedom all over the world. Gratitude is a simple yet powerful force for good and we can always be generous in displaying it.

I hope each of you has a wonderful season. We appreciate your membership in and loyalty to America First. We look forward to a lifetime relationship.