A Thanksgiving Story of Two Wise Men and One Wise Guy

This is a story about two wise men and one wise guy. And, since it is also a story about gratitude, it is a good one to reflect upon at Thanksgiving when 'g' in Thanksgiving not only stands for giving but for gratitude.

But, let us begin the story. Once upon a time in the great state of Ohio, a wise guy who worked as a sales and marketing consultant took an engagement to help a wise man pass a Home Rule Charter in the wise man's county of residence. By the way, other than the Ohio wise man, very few people had a clue as to what a home rule charter might mean to them.

In case you're wondering yourself, it basically meant that citizens of the county would be able to assert in the form of law their vision for the future rather than be governed by legislators and judges in cahoots with the power elite.

Now who wouldn't want that – other than judges, legislators and the power elite? You'd think that put to a vote – it would be a slam dunk. But, the wise guy marketer knew that what people don't understand would frighten them, change would frighten them and the judges and politicians who had something to lose would use fear to frighten them more. Only education on a massive scale could stop the bad guys from winning.

But, this isn't a story about politics. It's about gratitude. It turns out that the wise man from Ohio has spent his life as a very quiet philanthropist doing good things for the people of the county. Yes, he was very wealthy. He had what is commonly referred to as f*@# you money and as a result he engendered plenty of jealousy. Being both a wise and wealthy man also made him a bit irascible but that's beside the point. The man spent his time and money doing good for the people and he now looked toward them for support of his charter plan.

You probably know what happened. The wise man was pilloried in public and excoriated by everyone from the news media to the man on the street. The wise guy was pissed. He took it personally that a man who had spent millions doing good was unfairly being hung out to dry by the people he helped. He voiced his feelings to the Ohio wise man and it was at this time that the wise man said something to him that he would never forget.

He said, "Wise Guy, you need to understand that gratitude is the most fleeting of emotions." He then went on to explain that he did the things he did not because he wanted gratitude – because he didn't expect it. He did those things because he believed it was the right thing to do and he had the resources to do them.

And so the wise guy went forth and traveled far and wide in search of other wise men and women from whom to learn. And, then one day in the year 2009, the wise guy met a wise man from the Isle of Great Britain. The wise guy knew immediately that this was a very wise man because he had left the Isle of Great Britain and settled in the land known as Orlando where the weather change alone was an indicator of his wiseness.

And so it came to be that the wise guy and Orlando wise man were one day discussing – Gratitude. The wise guy thought "here is my chance to impart the wisdom of my friend from Ohio." And, so he told the Orlando wise man the story of the Ohio wise man and ended it by stating what he believed to be a truth – "gratitude is the most fleeting of emotions."

"Yes, that may be," said the Orlando wise man, "but it is also the most powerful of emotions." (See, I told you he was really wise.)

"Wow," thought the wise guy. "Gratitude is like magic dust. It is both extremely powerful and yet very ephemeral."

"Does that mean we need to keep it close and guard it so that it is not lost? Or, do we use its power to do good things?" asked the wise guy.

"Why can't I do both," thought the wise guy. "I'll give it away by showing my gratitude for and to others. And, I'll hold it in my heart by remembering just how fortunate I have been in my life."

"Yes," said the Orlando wise man. "That is how we need to use gratitude. In fact, let us become part of a global groundswell of gratitude called TweetsGiving. It will be an experiment in social innovation that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude."

And, so, back in Ohio the wise man smiled as the thoughts and deeds of the wise guy and the Florida wise man drifted to him upon the winds of Thanksgiving. "Yes, wise guy, I told you it is the most fleeting of emotions but I always knew it had the power to change the world – one person at a time.

"Go forth and teach now," said the Ohio wise man to the wise guy. "Enlist others in not only TweetsGiving but in how to live a life of gratitude. Do that and I will forget that we lost the vote for Home Rule."

And, the wise man was grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

6 thoughts on “A Thanksgiving Story of Two Wise Men and One Wise Guy”

  1. Bob, a stirring tale, though it seems to be missing the Wise Turkey. (Or is that the implicit pagan animal spirit in the story?)
    Happy Thanksgiving (and happier Friday leftovers)!
    with gratitude, TB

  2. Tom – any comment from you about a “stirring tale” is high praise.
    The Wise Turkey is one that limits all appearances around Thanksgiving.
    Best wishes to you too!

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