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A Letter of Gratitude

It’s that time of year when we take a pause to consider all the things we are grateful for. The term “gratitude” gets thrown around a lot, and the common definition is being thankful for something we have or have been given.

I decided to look “gratitude” up in the dictionary to see if I could glean additional meaning that might bring a fresh perspective. Here is what I found in the Oxford Dictionary:

The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness.

So gratitude is a feeling, but it’s also an action: “readiness to return kindness.” In our busy lives, it is easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget our gratitude. Others live and breathe it because they work in environments with a front row seat to some of society’s greatest struggles.

Take, for example, Dorri McWhorter. Dorri is the CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. In her role, she provides programs about safety, education, and economic empowerment to women, children and families.

Trish Karlin, Executive Vice President at the Elisabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, has devoted her career to eradicating HIV in the poorest countries in the world.

And Rachel Greenberger, Co-founder and Director of Food Sol, who saw a need to change the way we think about food and created an action tank to help food entrepreneurs collectively solve challenges.

All of these women have MBAs from top business schools, and every day they apply what they learned as MBAs to make a difference, make the world a better place, and give more opportunities to women and girls. I am grateful for what they do and am also extremely proud of women who are using their MBAs to solve problems that benefit society.

Not everyone can change the world, but everyone can contribute to making it a better place in ways small or large.

I’ll end on a funny note by sharing this definition of gratitude that I found on

Gratitude is the warm feeling you get when you remember the person who told you to drop your 1980s hairstyle and get with the new millennium already.

May you find laughter, joy, and comfort this Thanksgiving and throughout the upcoming holiday season.

Elissa Sangster
CEO, Forté

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