Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wishing You a Happy Holiday Season!

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Proud Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year from CareerQuest!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Blessed Beyond Measure

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pang of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can worship without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish somewhere, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare, even in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder, you are blessed because in a world that is dying from lack of touch, you can offer a healing embrace.

If you can read this message, you have just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Have a pleasant and productive day, count your blessings (not just at Thanksgiving but all year long), and pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

Author unknown (Text slightly modified by Don Sutaria)

Angels in America

A True Thanksgiving Story—1963

On Thanksgiving Day, 1963, an international student was in an empty dormitory room at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. He had arrived just a few weeks ago from Bombay, India, to pursue a Master's degree in Engineering. He had no idea that the USA practically shuts down at Thanksgiving, especially a town of 2,000 people. There is absolutely no place to eat, even if you have the money. Even the Student Union with its vending machines was locked up. He had stayed behind to get an early start on his thesis.

The only thing he had in his room were two small boxes of individual portion cereals he had saved from his breakfast about a week ago, since meals were provided in the dormitory.

What a dilemma! The campus was deserted. If hunger would make him feel faint, what should he do? Knock on the doors of local houses and beg for food?!

Lo and behold, about 9:00 a.m. there was a knock on his door. A local college senior, John Buzenberg, was going from dormitory to dormitory, knocking on every door to ensure that the stranded international students had a place to eat the Thanksgiving turkey. When he had finished, he had gathered up no less than 12 students from Nigeria, Taiwan, China, India, Pakistan, Holland, and several other countries. He would not take no for an answer. At about 12:00 noon he had brought his family station wagon several times and taken all the invitees to his home in the same town, less than five miles away.

A big Thanksgiving feast was spread at long makeshift tables to accommodate about 20 family members and 12 or so students. The festivities went on until 8:00 p.m. when John drove all the students back to their dormitory rooms.

Do you believe in Angels, God's Secret Messengers? I for one, do! In case you haven't guessed as yet, the name of the stranded student was Don Sutaria.

Pass It On.


A True Thanksgiving Story—1998

Dear reader, after the 1963 Thanksgiving story fast forward to 1998, Thanksgiving eve.

My son Dale, who was 19 at that time, was studying at Parsons School of Design (The New School University) in New York City. He asked his mom Elizabeth and I if he could bring a guest home for Thanksgiving dinner. His mom and I said yes without hesitation. He explained to us immediately afterwards that his name was Jimmy Smith, and he was a homeless alcoholic. Dale had befriended him because he slept on the steps of his dormitory all year round.

Our answer was still yes. I am sure Dale was testing mom and dad to see if they were going to live up to their set of values. Our motivation was also a message given by a great man from Galilee many years ago, which I do not fully claim to understand or always follow: "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers, you did for me."

Dale and Jimmy arrived from New York on a bus and we picked them up in Union, New Jersey, on Thanksgiving eve. There were no major surprises. Jimmy was reasonably sober but had a faint odor of alcohol in his breath. He probably had not shaved, showered or washed his clothes for a number of days. After giving him a good Thanksgiving meal to eat, the next order of priority was a shower and clean clothes.

We had set up his bed on the convertible sofa in our living room. He was thrilled by the quietness and peace in the suburbs where he did not have to sleep in the street, clutching his belongings. He claimed that his father used to be a police officer in Madison, New Jersey. He also had a twin brother with some mental disabilities, who was living as a homeless person in New York. He spent the entire evening talking with us, until very late at night, conveying his gratitude.

He had forgotten what it was like to sleep in a normal bed. When he woke up the next morning, he said he slept like he had not slept in years. He wanted to return to New York on Thanksgiving day, so my wife drove him back. A few days later we got a report from our son Dale that Jimmy had sobered up for good, straightened out his life, got a job in road construction, and with the help of a social worker, was living in a studio apartment on his own, in Manhattan.

I don't think there is such a big deal to this true story. An act of kindness done to me in 1963 was just passed on to another human being in 1998, coincidentally enough at Thanksgiving!

Holiday Job Hunting

Lest we forget, please do not slow down in your job hunt and networking during this holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year; if anything, accelerate your search!

Note that other job hunters have temporarily dropped out of the race for two months which gives you a statistical advantage to win or bag your trophy—a desirable job.

Contrary to what the world thinks, my opinion, which bears out in practice, is this: Executives in positions with power to hire you are generally traveling less during this period. A holiday spirit prevails, and there is a greater mood of courtesy and charity. Managers have more time to talk with you and are relaxed. Budgets are also being prepared for the upcoming new year, which might enable them to slot you in.

The seeds you have sown in November and December may bear fruit in January. You may surprise yourself by being delivered a belated holiday gift—a new job—in the size, style and color you always wanted!