Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude
In my last column, I wrote about a clear connection between ethics and the economy. I mentioned my desire to write about some of the people and organizations that have a positive impact on our community. I think it is fitting, then, that as we have just taken time to give thanks for God’s providence toward this nation, and as we will soon be celebrating the indescribable gift of His Son coming into the world, that we consider all that we have to be thankful for. If giving thanks is only for a season, and we are not consistently cultivating an attitude of gratitude, we will be become poor and spread that poverty to those around us.
I have heard it said that the worst sort of poverty is poverty of the mind, and I have also observed that the happiest people I know (and enjoy spending time with) are those that are most thankful. Both are a choice, and both are contagious. We all have many reasons to be thankful, whether we recognize it or not; it is a choice. It is my goal, therefore, to spread an attitude of gratitude.
Space and time would prevent me from calling to mind so many who have preceded us, on whose shoulders we now stand, so I will leave it to each of us to reflect and thank God for each of them. From loving parents and grandparents who poured into us and taught us to care, to the leaders who established the Vista Chamber of Commerce 90 years ago, Tri-City Hospital 51 years ago and the City of Vista 50 years ago; from many since, who have sacrificed much to build this community, to those who gave all, fighting to preserve our God-given unalienable rights. Thus, we profit, and as Jesus once said, to whom much is given, much is required.
So it is that today we all benefit from people who work tirelessly, lead courageously, and give of themselves sacrificially and of their possessions generously. I am so privileged and grateful to be working and serving alongside so many of these people in our community. I have gotten to know some better than others, and of course there are many I have not yet had the privilege to know – but I am grateful for them, as I know they are making our community a better place.
A small sampling of the people and organizations that have had an impact, both on our community and on me personally, are listed below, but there are many, many others, some of whom may not ever be publicly recognized (and after all, it is not recognition that motivates them to make a difference).
I am thankful for people like Art Barter, who earlier this year stepped down as CEO of Datron to lead the Servant Leadership Institute, clearly understanding this new role to be a higher calling. I am thankful for Michael Cavataio, who ran his race well, setting the bar high for all other community bankers in the region; what applause he received when he crossed the finish line earlier this year. I am thankful for Chris and Tammy Megison, and all the dedicated people at North County Solutions for Change, who are faithfully working to permanently solve family homelessness in our own back yard.
I am thankful for the many relationships I have seen forged and cultivated between community leaders, business leaders and civil servants, who work together to serve the people. I am thankful for the civic leaders I recently saw gathered for the 29th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, who sought the favor of God in our nation, our state and our city. I am thankful for the local churches that work together on that event and other community building projects. I am thankful for the people we get to celebrate each year at Heroes of Vista, and for the partnership between the Chamber and Vista Education Foundation to host such an event. I am thankful that we have a Christmas Parade, and not a Holiday Parade. I am thankful for people who have worked so hard to beautify downtown Vista with public art and for others who are working to bring about more improvements and activities for our kids. I am thankful for the people who have Vision and can help us imagine a Vista well worth our continued investment. Yes, I am thankful!
Owner, Tory R. Walker Engineering
Chairman of the Board