A friend recently completed his Master’s programme. When congratulating him he noted that although he is the candidate graduate, it was an extensive group of people that supported him to achieve this wonderful milestone. His former junior school Headmaster and mentor proofread his thesis!
I reflected on this and am struck by how true this is for who I am and everything I have been fortunate to achieve. My name may be on it, but, it is the influence of so many others that make what I produce what it is. During Oscar and Grammy recipient speeches we hear the ream of important family, peers and associates that supported these achievements; some of whom we’ve heard; of others not. Although most of us do not have the public profiles of renowned artists and celebrities, our achievements are no less important, and more importantly, our families, friends and associates are equally important to us, hence the title of this article.
Some of my greatest influencers and inspirations are authors, artists and others whom I’ve never met. Unless they know that I have cited their work, or in some other way mentioned their influence, they would not know of their significant impact on me. Someone might not be aware that something they said in a conversation with me was so profound it changed my perspective! People who shape who we are and what we contribute are often not seen or acknowledged. They are members of our Invisible Team.
In our commitment to gratitude and giving credit where it is due, let us always thank others for their contribution to who we are, even if it is years after the fact when their influence manifests in a way that adds value to our emergence and contribution to the world. Equally, when we have the delight of being the recipient of this gratitude, may we always be gracious and acknowledging. Let us not employ conventional coyness and a self-depreciating narrative, because that spoils the joy of the person giving their gratitude.