December 26 , 2022 /


An unexpected gift is often a welcome surprise.  Whether the gift comes as a material object or an expression of gratitude and appreciation, the one making the gift has taken the time and given some thought to honor the recipient.  One such gift came to me from a former student of 30 years ago who said this:


“You … inspired me to teach.  It has been 15+ enjoyable years thus far, teaching such subjects as professionalism, ethics, and clinical practice to dental students and residents.  You also taught me to help those less advantaged in life.  I have dedicated a significant portion of my practice to treating children with intellectual, neurodevelopmental, physical and social disabilities.  These kids are often marginalized and over-looked in receiving the primary and specialty healthcare they deserve. “   He shared some personal information and then concluded the letter with these words:


“Please accept this short note as a token of thanks for your everlasting impact on my life.”


What we say and what we do over a long career and even longer life includes numerous opportunities for giving.  The best part of this from my perspective is when you are just being you and doing what you believe is right and good, others find something of value they can use in their own lives, both professional and personal.


Think about who has given something of value to you that came as a glad surprise and what your response was when that happened.  Now consider how you might surprise someone else with a gift they are not expecting.  That is where the piece comes in about being blessed to give as well as receive.


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