Gratitude: It does a body good


Nancy Kirsch

Gratitude. Sometimes when we’re caught up in the day-to-day demands of work, parenting and family life, gratitude goes by the wayside. Given that, I decided to put pen to paper to identify some “gratitude-provoking” aspects of my professional life.

•  I was grateful to hear from James Colbert, external affairs director, JINSA. An excellent resource for interviewees for my June 21 stories: “Military troops aren’t getting the help they need” and “Those in active duty face risks beyond the battlefield,” Colbert recently emailed me: “Thank you for all your diligent research and outstanding writing. … AUSA’s (Association of the United States Army) communications department made good use of your article. It was posted to AUSA’s Facebook page where some 3,500 people saw it. It was also distributed via AUSA’s Twitter account where the audience is approximately 2,000 followers.”

•  I am grateful that so many readers offered their feedback on the new look and layout unveiled in the Aug. 2 issue. I am especially pleased – and relieved – that positive comments have far outpaced the negative ones. Complaints about the too-small size of the captions are 100 percent accurate; as for the one or two people who’ve commented about the white space above the masthead, well, that’s not likely to change.

•  I am grateful to Gail Solomon who took a ghost of an idea and created a new masthead and new design for the paper. Too, the Alliance professional and lay leadership, including The Jewish Voice’s editorial board, were willing to adopt a new name and Leah Camara and Elliot Gerber (in-house and freelance designers, respectively) helped execute the new look. They, too, have earned my gratitude.

•  I am grateful to our stalwart volunteer, Arthur Norman, who helped keep the paper running during my July vacation. Although we don’t publish in July, Arthur ably fielded phone calls, slogged through emails and helped with organizational issues.

• When a professional colleague expressed frustrations with me about our recent interactions – rife with miscommunications and hurt feelings on both sides – I was grateful that I was able to really listen. And then to apologize and attempt to make amends.

The New Year offers a perfect opportunity to look at that behavior – as well as other practices that may be counterproductive – and decide how I might do better in the future.

•  Finally, I’m grateful to be training with Tom Marchand, a trainer at the Alliance JCC.

I used a trainer in the past  – first for a weeklong whitewater rafting trip with Outward Bound and, later, for an Avon Breast Cancer 37-mile walk. As soon as those events were done, however, I regressed to my half-baked, lackadaisical fitness regime.

So, now, even without an external event to train for, it feels good to have Tom encouraging me, guiding me and occasionally pushing me. Thanks to him, I’m no longer “reading while working out.”

What are you grateful for? Share your gratitude list with readers of The Jewish Voice!  Write to, Gratitude (subject line), or mail to The Jewish Voice, 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence, RI 02906.