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Give Thanks for the Unexpected
November 28, 2019
I am thankful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.
-Henry David Thoreau

The 13th century Persian poet, Rumi, wrote a poem he called “Guest House,” where he urged us all to find joy in the unexpected – even the seemingly difficult. Here is an excerpt:

“This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.”

In a similar vein, Jo-Ann Spence in an article included in the Exchange Essentials article collection, “Leading People” writes about how a director’s job is continually full of opportunities to welcome and embrace the unexpected:

“The first three years that I was a director passed in a blur. Everything was new and interesting. Driving over to the school in the middle of the night to answer the alarm, my husband and I felt like Dick Tracy speeding to the scene of the crime. (Never mind that it was usually a squirrel that set off the electric eye and the conference with police was a series of squirrel jokes.) The director's job was a series of new experiences. I felt sure that once I got a grip on the job, all would settle down and run like clockwork. Seventeen years later, I have come to a better understanding. This is a job where anything can happen and does with startlingly frequency. Along my way, I have found some real truths about this job that I hope you will find helpful as well. [Here is an important one]: Accept and expect the unexpected.”

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