What’s Your Thunder?

The Attitude of Gratitude

By Stephen Garber

To paraphrase author Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Don’t say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.” When people think of you or me, what are the thoughts or feelings about the “thunder” they experience?

The holidays just passed. We were in the throes of commercialism—Christmas displays before Halloween, really?—during a time of reflection, celebration, family and friendship. Overeating, overindulging, seeing the family we love—or perhaps drives us crazy. These all make us who we are.

We are shaped by our families, identified by our friends, measured often by our accomplishments, and as healthy as our lifestyles. All of them make up our thunder—scary thunder, sharp thunder. Or rolling thunder, transformative thunder, thunder that makes people sit up and take notice of themselves, their situation, their impact or their world in a different way.

We live in truly thunderous times. We are bombarded by the bombastic 24/7. The noise locally, nationally and globally is loud and often scary. Many of us have become immune to that noise. We must be immune, for if we truly listen, it becomes deafening. And that lack of listening, the required tuning-out, truly can make us an unwitting part of the storm. So, let’s make what we are—our thunder—bring light.

This is a time of thanks, and a time for us to say big thank-yous. Writing the words, shaking hands and giving hugs (carefully, and with permission).

Thunderous applause and shy sweet smiles are the results of who we are – and can be.

The attitude of gratitude, while a cliché, is powerful. Giving thanks are the most powerful ways to create true prosperity and peace. As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “I am grateful for what I am and I have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”

What can we give? At work, we can give a few moments to connect with the people with whom we work, every day. ‘How are you?’ ‘How’s your mom?’ ‘How was your weekend?’ We can say thank you, every day. ‘Thanks for thinking of that detail. I’d have missed it.’ ‘Thanks for that powerful debate we just had. It made us better.’

We often bemoan the oxymoron that customer service can be in South Florida. Yet when the customer service representative comes on the telephone line, or stands in front of us, there are two magical phrases you can use: his/her name and “How are you?”

Customer service reps are trained to ask how we are. But watch what happens when you use his/her name and say, “It’s been an OK day so far, Joseph. How’s your day going?’ The rapport, attitude, and service will invariably change.

With the new year upon us, let’s say “thank you” large and small. It will serve us well at home, work and in the community.

Stephen Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or sgarber@thirdlevel.com.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.