How thankful are you?

When setting up business much is said about 'Vision, Mission and Values'. Organisational values take many shapes and forms. Some stress 'kindness' others 'diversity', again, others 'entrepreneurial spirit'. How many of us, however, focus on being thankful?

This is Harvest week. In days gone by farmers, schools, churches, homes and places of work would celebrate the harvest coming in once a year. In many places they still do.

Yet, do those of us who earn a living through other forms of business, take time to be thankful?

Thankfulness for the harvest reminds us that there is provision of food and income for families and communities. It also means that people get together to thank God for His provision, celebrate the outcome of their hard labour and thank workers, friends and family.

Zeitgeist Communication's business plan includes a statement on thankfulness and a desire to think of all that is encouraging and positive rather than dwelling on the negatives. It is good for our minds and our businesses that we pause and give thanks. Thanks for the freedom we have in this country to do business, thanks for the many good relationships we build as part of our work, thanks for clients, big and small, for the food on our children's tables, thanks for business partners who work with integrity, thanks for the air we breath and our health which allows us to keep going. There is much to be thankful for.

I read this story by Sophie Cox and it encouraged me. I hope it encourages you, too, to look beyond the pitfalls, barriers and disappointments we encounter and to appreciate the things and, most of all, the people in your life and places of work:


"In some aspects of my life I have really found it hard to be thankful. I have a condition known as spinal muscular atrophy which means I have very limited muscle use and can no longer walk. I struggled with my condition when I was younger, comparing myself to other kids my age and wondering why I had this ‘thing’. It seemed so unfair. I can’t have a lot of spontaneity in my life, everything has to be organised to the last detail and I am limited in what I can do and where I can go. "e doubts and anger led me away from God; I couldn’t see how I could believe and trust in him one hundred per cent when I was going through things like spinal operations, my wheelchair breaking down over and over again, and dealing As I’ve grown older (I am now 23) of course I still feel this sometimes, but I’ve learnt to appreciate what is good in my life. I have incredible family and friends, I have my own flat, I can drive and I’ve been to some amazing places. I know now how much I really have to be thankful for. I have recently joined a new church where I have met gracious, helpful and caring people. I appreciate now that God has given me a great life and every day I pray a prayer of thanks. No matter what, I know deep down I’m really lucky. Yes there will be challenges of course, but without those I would never grow and become stronger. Sometimes I ask my friends what they think I’d be like if I was ‘normal’ and they just simply reply, ‘Well, you wouldn’t be you,’ and I think that says it all.

(Sophie Cox graduated from the University of Northampton in 2010 and is a freelance photographer who is also currently training as an independent financial advisor. Her story was taken from Hope, Harvest Together.