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Letter to Stefan

By Carisa Carlton

Day Two of my “30-Days of Gratitude” journey

September 6, 2017

Dear Stefan,

I am grateful for 33 years of your friendship.

I am grateful for the opportunity you provided me in 1988 when you loaned me $50,000 to start a business and help me meet a demand. I am grateful for the additional $30,000 you loaned me to grow my business six months later. I am grateful that you saw past my youth and inexperience to help me satisfy that demand, and I am grateful that you took a chance on me. Your belief in me changed my life by providing me not only international business experience, but belief in myself that I could succeed. You helped me help myself. The opportunity you gave me lasted me a lifetime: When I think, “I can’t,” I remember the time I accomplished more with less experience because I had one person who believed in me: you.

I am grateful for the leadership you have consistently demonstrated for 33 years. Through example, you taught me how to chart progress by steadfastly recording how many miles you ran everyday. I was always amazed at how you could motivate yourself, even through pain and injury, to make the healthiest choice for your life every single day.

Your self-discipline spilled into your financial security, and I am grateful that I had the privilege of watching you succeed. I imagine that the flow you created by running everyday provided you a solid basis for happiness. Somehow you figured out the key to happiness long before anyone else I know.

I am grateful for your curiosity. Curiosity is the key to understanding others. In the 33 years I’ve known you, you have caused me to trust that your core character seeks understanding over superiority. I love that about you; and that experience with you has brought me joy and provided me with a positive role model.

I am grateful for your generous time not only with me, but with the time you dedicate to others. From helping immigrants build businesses to volunteering at the dog shelter, I am inspired by how someone with your knowledge and wealth has the spiritual insight to know that giving of yourself rather than seeking superiority is the key to peace. I’m grateful for your example.

I am grateful that you value me enough to read everything I write to you. I am grateful that you continued believing in me when I lost belief in myself. I am grateful that you saw, and continue to see, the greatness in me even in the times when I couldn’t see past what others (who don’t even know me) said.

I am grateful for your royal example of human kindness. I will love you forever.

Carisa

 

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