A few thoughts from Jon Flora, President & CEO
Like all writers, sometimes I run out of ideas. Last December was one of those times. There was nothing more in the tank when it came to producing something useful about credit, collections and our organization.
So, I wrote a little piece that had absolutely nothing to do with our mission at NACM. It was all about the spirit of Christmas and electric trains.
The response was, and remains, surprising to me. I have heard from more of our members and customers than at any time in the last seven years. It usually begins with “Hey Jon, I read your train thing.” I have heard from people across the nation on almost a monthly basis throughout 2019. Some responses have been funny, several heartwarming, and a couple were sad but special remembrances. I appreciate all of them.
A number of readers were inspired to dig through their attics or their parents’ basements looking for their Lionel train lovingly packed away decades ago. A few people shared childhood memories of building tunnels under the Christmas tree using brightly colored gifts waiting to be unwrapped on the big morning. And just thinking of those puffing locomotives gave some folks pause to reflect on the fun they once enjoyed with a family member who had since passed on.
One person called wanting to know what their train was worth. Another needed some help figuring out how to get their train working again. Yet another customer found a couple of train cars languishing in a box of childhood stuff and called me. The cars now reside on a shelf in my home alongside companion electrical creations.
The whole purpose of that column was to encourage reflection about simpler, less complicated times and, at least for a while, set aside the things we fret about in today’s world. Politics, traffic, lawsuits, weather, finances, Twitter, keeping up with the Jones’s…you name it.
We spend an inordinate amount of energy Tweeting, posting, worrying, and fixated on things that we can do nothing about or just don’t matter in the larger picture.
We all have so much more than we’ll ever need except, possibly, gratitude.
After a hiatus of some months, I resumed making entries in my daily gratitude journal. Our good friend and periodic speaker, David Brooke, known as That Gratitude Guy, has made me a believer in how keeping a journal changes one’s perspective on life. And, I’m here to say, it really works. Focusing on the people and opportunities for which we’re grateful changes you. Casting aside the negative makes a world of difference.
As we enter the season of giving, I invite you to set aside some time to think about your lot in life:
What’s really important? And, what’s not? What’s your passion? And, of course, who and what are you most grateful for? You will find it to be a useful exercise.
If you truly get into the spirit of celebrating a kinder gentler holiday, we will again have a train running around the base of our office Christmas tree. Stop by anytime for a childhood flashback.
For all of us at NACM Business Credit Services, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and joyous holiday season. Let’s have a great – and grateful – 2020 together.
With Holiday wishes,