Dear Gilman Family,
As we head into our Thanksgiving break, I want to take this moment to convey how grateful I am to be a part of Gilman. This is a special place, made so by the extraordinary people who breathe life into our beautiful setting every day.
During our annual Thanksgiving Convocation on Tuesday afternoon, we gathered as a community of students, faculty, and staff to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of expressing our gratitude. Our school president and several administrative assistants shared their personal reflections on Thanksgiving, and we were lifted up by a moving musical performance by members of our faculty and staff. And, of course, there was prep-one’s lively rendition of the Turkey Tango. It was good to be together.
To close the assembly and send us on our break, I shared briefly the story of John Kralik, whose book, A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life, tells of the author’s own quest to write 365 thank-you notes over the course of a year in an effort to reclaim a sense of perspective and meaning in his own life. (Since I have not read the book, I cannot recommend it; nonetheless, its premise is compelling.) The fulfillment that Kralik has experienced as a reward for sending those notes has far outweighed the effort it took to write them. His story reminds us of the awesome and positive influence the simple act of saying “thank you” can have on our individual and collective well-being. It is a worthwhile message, one that I hope we can all keep in mind throughout the year.
With gratitude, I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and a restful holiday weekend.
Henry P. A. Smyth, Headmaster
Below is a recording of the 2019 Thanksgiving Convocation.