Matts’ Note - Gratitude in the Midst of Adversity

The saying goes that “whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” With that in mind, we should have incredible strength after the adversity of the last few years. Considering the pandemic, economic turmoil, civil unrest, wildfires and many other events, all of us have had recent challenges that we can learn from and grow from.  While it can be hard to see the upside when you’re in the midst of adversity, it does makes me optimistic for the future.

As I have interacted with business leaders recently, our conversations always seem to migrate to the challenge of hiring and maintaining a workforce. Nearly every business in our area is struggling to hire good staff members. Here at Rogue, we have been very fortunate to hire dozens of people in the last few months. However, we still have dozens of open positions. Not only are we shorthanded, we are also trying to train all of these great new team members. This has caused longer wait times and other challenges for our members. It has also been disheartening for our team which is used to, and passionate about, providing exceptional service. I am extremely grateful for the patience and grace that most of our members have shown to our team as we work through all of this. A few of my co-workers have been encouraging all of us to pay that grace forward. That sentiment has been extremely helpful to me as I’ve caught myself getting frustrated while shopping or at a restaurant with long wait times or interacting with employees that may be new and not yet fully competent in their roles. I’ve found that saying a simple “thank you for being here and helping me today” seems to immediately change the tone for everyone, including me. I encourage you to give that a try. Gratitude seems to change everything.

I learned that virtue from my father as a teenager. At that time, my father served in leadership roles at his work, in our community and at our church. He was also battling cancer. Since this was before the days of Zoom meetings, there always seemed to be an endless stream of people coming to our home to meet with my father, often while he laid in bed due to his lack of strength. Time and time again I heard him thank people for coming and for the work they were doing. This attitude of gratitude not only inspired those that came, but it also seemed to give my father strength. It helped all of us see past the extreme adversity we were dealing with. I’m truly grateful for his example.

Regardless of who we are or what situation we are in, we are capable of gratitude. Sometimes it just requires us to intentionally dig a little deeper. The great A.A. Milne dispensed timeless wisdom in describing the little pig in his Winnie-the-Pooh children’s story when he wrote, “Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.” There is a lesson there for all of us.

I encourage you to look for things to be grateful for and express that gratitude openly. When I take a moment to ponder, I have a very long list of things to be grateful for, which includes a loving family, amazing coworkers, a beautiful community and wonderful freedoms.

I truly enjoy the messages I receive from our members in response to these posts and the suggestions for future topics. Please share with me your thoughts at rogue@roguecu.org.