Give Thanks


By: John Geissinger
Assistant Swimming Coach

So proud of my wife Alex!

As this season of gratitude comes closer, I find myself reflecting more and more on what I have.  Often I’m so focused on what I want and what I think I need, that I forget to count my many blessings.  Early last month my wife, Alex, was called on to be an anonymous bone marrow donor for a man with leukemia.  She donated 1.2 liters of her marrow, making her extremely anemic, fatigued and sore– all for a person she’s never met.  Instead of complaining, she was just so excited to have this opportunity to help her fellow man, and I was struck by her willingness to sacrifice.  Sometimes, in the midst of life, I fail to remember how lucky I am to even have my health.  In fact, like most of us at Washington & Lee, I have health in abundance.

My wife decided that since she had so much to be thankful for that she needed to give to someone who had less, and that’s a great lesson for me.  Not everyone has the chance to give the gift of life and health, but we all have the opportunity to offer kindness in our daily life.  Equally important is the responsibility to be thankful.  If you attend college, you are among a select few people in the world with an abundance of food, clothing, health, shelter, money, and support.  Do yourself a favor, and take a moment every day to remember how incredibly lucky you are.  Thank those who have helped you get where you are, and remember that you can help others get where they need to be.

In a field marked by constant competition, it’s easy to overlook the small successes in life.  This Thanksgiving, remember that every day of your life is a tribute to the successes that have come before, and a prelude to the accomplishments you are bound to have.  Enjoy your family and friends this season, and take a few minutes to learn about bone marrow donation.  Even if you don’t want to donate your marrow, you can always donate your time or resources.  Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving!


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