In ThanksgivingIt wasn’t until I was working in the addiction/recovery field that I came to value gratitude lists.

My teachers were recovering people who had lived very hard lives. Sometimes the bright spots were hard-fought, like being grateful for being clean and sober for one day or being grateful for the gradual restoration of a relationship with a loved one.

Now I’m looking back on 26 years of working on poverty, and of course, the first name on the gratitude list is Ruby Payne.When she asked Terie Dreussi-Smith and me to help write a book for communities, it changed my life.

I’m grateful for the staff at aha! Process, as well as its authors, consultants, and learning community that has evolved over time.

When I take the long view over this quarter century, what comes to mind and to my eyes are you: the people in hundreds of communities that I met who use our work in unimagined and innovative ways. And I’m grateful for Getting Ahead graduates who brought reality, energy, and new solutions to Bridges initiatives. I’m grateful for you who give back to your communities.

Our country and our world are going through difficult and divided times. I’m grateful to you for building healthy and positive relationships across all the lines that divide us. I’m grateful for the hope you give me and the hope you offer your communities.