수지 오 교육학박사. 교육컨설턴트
“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.”
Of all the holidays, my favorite one is the Thanksgiving Holidays in November, because they give me an opportunity to reflect, a moment to pause from life’s challenges, and savor its blessings. This holiday provides a much-needed relief from my hectic life both as Educational Consultant and adjunct faculty at a university.
To paraphrase the great English writer and thinker, C. S. Lewis: “A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.” Our life’s experiences become full-grown only when we appreciate them. So often we focus so much on setting goals and working toward achieving them that we lose sight of grateful reflection after the activity.
How much richer our lives will be when we pause to appreciate the abundant gifts of our life?
What are you thankful for? This is a good question not only for you to answer, but also for you to talk about with your children and friends.
Among the many blessings, what am I thankful for?
I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to learn and lead. After retirement, I am busier than ever. I feel grateful for the opportunities to share my learning and sharing. I am also thankful for the opportunity to learn from other educational experts who keep me abreast of current research findings and issues during this unprecedented pandemic.
I am thankful for people I have encountered who have enriched my life with their diverse interests, perspectives and experiences. I am thankful for some of the inspirational books I have read both for personal and professional growth. I am thankful for the ability to serve both the larger mainstream American community and the Korean American community as educational consultant.
I am thankful for the wisdom to establish my own definition of success, as stated in this quotation: “Do not look to the changing opinions of others for news of your success. Word comes in the small voice you hear within at the end of the day, knowing you have done your best. This is the only success that matters.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.” The more we learn, the more we realize how little we really know. Will Durant, a philosopher and historian, also said, “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”
I find books are a refuge. Books are an escape from the prison of the self and an escape from the crisis we have encountered this year in 2020. Learning and books are my therapy, keeping all my problems in perspective.
Thanksgiving provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our lives and appreciate all the good we have achieved. The more thoughtful reflecting we do, the more we will appreciate our past and improve our future.
This month is not only for thankful reflection of the past year, but it’s also a time for anticipation. The growing crispness of the air, the colorful leaf changes, and other signs of winter’s imminence inspire me to look forward to the winter holidays. Therefore, November is the perfect month to look back and forward at the same time.
<수지 오 교육학박사. 교육컨설턴트