Novelist and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel noted that “when a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.” There is a duality in this statement – when we do not have gratitude in our hearts, it is a sign of emptiness in our humanity, but when we do not receive gratitude for the goodness we give to others, it can also leave us empty.
I’ve always believed that trouble comes to those who need it most, and I’ve recently wondered aloud with friends and family if the difficulties we’ve all faced this past year were somehow part of a bigger message. Were we being reminded to slow down? Were we being asked to reexamine our priorities? Had we lost focus or lost sight of the important parts of our lives – the most important people in our lives – while allowing insignificant things to pull us away from what matters most?
In just a few short months, this entire community has shown me how strong we are together, and I am grateful for the hospitality my family and I have received as we joined this district and this great city. I am grateful for the Celina ISD staff who selflessly welcomed our kids back into our schools in the midst of a health crisis so our kids could experience some semblance of normalcy and the opportunity to play together and to just be kids again. I am grateful to the teachers and aides who have taken on the enormous task designing and teaching impactful lessons for both virtual and in-person learners, sacrificing time with their own families to serve others. I am grateful for the patience and kindness our families have shown with masks and safety protocols, or when a child had to be quarantined, or when computer glitches and power outages made online teaching and learning more difficult. And I am grateful for the city staff, our district leaders, our community volunteers, and all who stepped in when our district needed assistance to keep our systems running smoothly. Celina is truly connected.
In this season of Thanksgiving, may we all remember to be grateful for the goodness in our lives, yes, but may we also take the time to pause and show gratitude to the people who have blessed our lives. Please take time to pause and consider those who have blessed you this year, and please reach out to let them know how much they have impacted you. If you are a CISD parent, I would be so grateful if you would please consider the educators in your child’s life and take the time this season to let them know how much you appreciate them. I’ve been told that “thank you” is the simplest gift we can give. Perhaps it is also the greatest.
Superintendent, Celina ISD