2020. The numbers alone are a complete sentence for most. When someone sees or hears the words "twenty-twenty" emotions and meanings run high. From toilet paper shortages, to political upheaval to the infamous virus that runs unchecked—2020 will forever be the year that all bets were off. The unlikely happened. The impossible seemed to occur. And yet, in the middle of it, we find ourselves entering the season of thanks and we pause to consider, "Is there something to be thankful for?" In a year where many of have lost loved ones, many are without jobs, many without the ability to see family, and most without any sense of normal, it seems we have to dig deep to find things to be thankful for.
There's an ancient parable on leadership where a ruler tells a young prince to go into a forrest and to return and tell the leader what he has heard. The young prince does so and returns with a report of what you may expect: birds chirping and bees buzzing. Yet, the ruler instructs the prince to return to the forest and listen again. After a few days, the prince returns to report that he was able to hear the unheard. He reported hearing the sun warming the earth and the grass drinking the morning dew. To this the ruler replied,
"To hear the unheard, is a necessary discipline to be a good ruler. For only when a ruler has learned to listen closely to the people’s hearts, hearing their feelings uncommunicated, pains unexpressed, and complaints not spoken of, can he hope to inspire confidence in his people, understand when something is wrong, and meet the true needs of his citizens."
Applying this parable to 2020, while the obtrusiveness of the year seems to scream much louder and list the parade of horribles, if we pause to sit and listen, we can certainly find the land of plenty. It may require concentration, but it's there. For us, it's having a good friend to catch up with week after week both on a podcast and in real life. It's our families, our friends and as cliche as it sounds, you, the listener.
Whether you're a colleague in the industry or someone who listens for the pure humor that two guys named Mark provide, we're thankful you choose us. 2020 has taken a lot, but its given a lot, too. This year, we're taking the wisdom of the parable and finding thankfulness in the uncommon.
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