Shep Englander — Federation Journal
Fundamental #24 — Show Gratitude And Appreciation
SHOW GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION — Be grateful for the opportunities and blessings we have, and for those who contribute to them. Recognizing people doing things right is more effective than pointing out when they do things wrong. Regularly extend meaningful acknowledgment and appreciation — in all directions throughout our organization.
As I mentioned in one of our staff meetings, everyone has the opportunity to participate in one of my favorite Jewish rituals. It’s called “tashlikh” which means “cast off” or “cast away” in Hebrew. Traditionally, this ritual imagines us transferring our sins (or whatever we want to leave behind) onto bits of bread and then symbolically casting them off into a river.
Hayley and I have been doing this with our children at one point each year since they were small. We start by taking turns explaining mistakes we’ve made over the past year that we hope not to repeat. Often, we mention ways that we may have been hurtful to each other. When one of us owns one of our mistakes and the person it hurts forgives, something releases in us. That release is feeling unburdened, more appreciation for each other and more grateful for our life.
When our staff does tashlikh together, we might not get quite intense with each other as my family does (it’s ok with me if we do). But I hope that as you let go of whatever blocks you from being fully “switched on” to life, you feel gratitude. It’s one of the most sacred feelings we get to have.
See here for Shep’s comments on all the fundamentals so far.