Thanksgiving, the time when we give thanks not just FOR, but TO those who have been an important part of our lives:  our friends and family, our customers, shoppers, advocates, and critics.  Yes, I give thanks for ALL of them because they all provide a possibility for a relationship, which is really what it is all about. 

This year, I propose we all try a Social Thanksgiving – one where we focus on the true meaning and value of relationships, and take the time to pay attention to others first (and ourselves next).

Let’s make this Social Thanksgiving a time to make sure everyone remembers two of the most important rules of a relationship:

#1: More important than finding your own light, help others to find theirs.

When we help others find their lights, we enter into a relationship with them – collaborating with them, giving of ourselves, and experiencing the gift of seeing life for a while through their eyes.  We can always use a chance to and a fresh perspective on our own lives (and who knows, that could be the way that we end up finding our own light!).

#2: Build people up, don’t tear them down. 

This is one of my rules (perfectly phrased by a special friend I admire) and it should be one of yours too… no matter who you are interacting with.  When we tear others down, it is only because we feel small and inadequate and are taking it out on someone else.  Take that energy and put it into BUILDING the relationship and supporting others instead of trying to make them small enough that you seem more powerful, wise, or successful.

All people deserve your respect and genuine caring, and what really makes you shine is when you accept them, and build them up so they can see their own light and shine it on the path for others.

Why not take this Social Thanksgiving idea one step further, and going forward, use those two rules of relationship to inspire campaigns and consumer outreach that leads to deeper emotional connections with customers/shoppers?  I have tried it – it is the way I do business – and I can tell you, IT WORKS.

So this Thanksgiving, I thank each of you for building me up and helping me shine my light, and I hope I have the chance to do the same for you!  May you and your loved ones have a Happy and Social Thanksgiving!  

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