Of course, Haiti is a country full of beautiful people.  I was there just a few weeks ago.  That said, Haiti is going through intense internal pain as a country, and people are suffering and dying in the most undignified way imaginable.  I love Haiti, but it is very, very hard to live in Haiti right now.  And so, when my friends call me with their problems and challenges, I tell them that, well, "they could be in Haiti." My point is, they really don't have so much problems as inconveniences.  

My friends in the Sudan, they have problems.  

My friends in Somalia have problems.  

My friends, in Haiti have problems.  

What we have are what I call "high class problems."  Inconveniences.

Wherever you are in this world, there is always some reason to be thankful.  If you are living in a developed country or say the Western world, then in all likelihood you are blessed on many levels.  If you are sick, your chances of ending up in one of the most advanced hospitals in the world, with some of the most advanced healthcare on the planet are very high.  If you cannot pay your bills, in all likelihood someone extended you credit, and with any luck you have a job (or had one).  If you are disappointed, good chance that at some point you believed; had hope.  

The reality is, we really don't have problems, we have mostly inconveniences, and even our problems and challenges are opportunities to grow, to be better.  As I said in my book LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), you cannot grow without legitimate suffering, and loss creates leaders.  That you cannot have rainbows without having storms first. At their core, even our pain and our problems have purpose and meaning in them.

As Thanksgiving, 2010 comes to an end, and as we reflect upon the good times we shared with family and friends and loved ones, let's not only celebrate the good times, but be appreciative of our challenges as well — for they represent opportunities in disguise.

Look at it this way — we could be in Haiti.

Onward with HOPE,

John Hope Bryant






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