Sue Montgomery, nuviun’s Senior Content Editor, shares her gratitude for the gifts of family, the benefits of technology, and a global digital health community to help make the world a better place.

Today is Turkey Day in the U.S.

At least, that’s the fowl food that most Americans associate with this day of thanks. Across the country, kitchens are brimming with chaos and the waft of mouth-watering aromas—as families gather in anticipation of the great feast. Amidst the clatter of dishes and the din of football and fellowship, we stop to remember all that we’re grateful for beyond the abundance of our tables.

Though it may not be called by the same name, or celebrated on the same day, the intent of “Thanksgiving” is honored the world round. With a focus on harmony, peace and gratitude, various cultures across the globe give thanks according to their unique and individual traditions—and we have much to learn from one another. The U.S. is often referred to as a “melting pot,” since we have such a rich history of immigration and cross-culturalism.

In our home, it’s no different. My husband is a fanatic for genealogy, and when he had his DNA evaluated, confirmed the heritage that had been passed down through family history—77% British Isles, 23% Germany. I’ve never had my DNA done, but know my dad’s roots are grounded in Scotland and Ireland—and my mom’s in the U.K., Germany and Finland. We have a wonderful chest in our living room that “came on the boat” from Finland with her great-grandparents when they immigrated here.

As with every country, there are a variety of internal cultures as well. My husband’s family is from the South. Mine from the North. When we visited the Civil War site of Gettysburg, we bought different hats. On New Year’s Day, we cover the geographic needs for good luck by serving the regional essentials. And when Ohio State is playing the University of Florida—we hang both flags on separate ends of the house and try to be nice to each other.

I see the same type of “melting pot” in global digital health as well. Within our global community, we have a tremendous opportunity to gather around the feast of the Digital Health Table to share our unique challenges and serve one another from the abundance of solutions we have on our plates.

At our gathering, we have a melting pot of guests. Some have great needs with few solutions to meet them. Some have great solutions and seek clarity on where to apply them. And some are serving both, trying to make the world a better place.

It’s why I’m so grateful to get to be part of it with nuviun. I’ve been a nurse so long that I passed the halfway mark some time ago—of my 52 years, 30 have been spent in this profession. I’ve been blessed to get to practice in wonderful settings with incredible people. I’ve had many “favorite” patients, and now get to take care of my most favorite of all—my own little mom in the comfort of our home.

Technology makes that possible—indirectly supporting Mom’s needs, by directly supporting mine. I get to work with an incredible company on the other side of the world doing incredible things because I can log onto my computer every day and take a seat in my global office.

I know many of you do the same, and it’s the blessing we have that enables us to tackle the challenges we face around the world as a global community. Here, we get to open our doors and welcome each other to partake of the feast that we can all share together. I think this type of synergy is the only way we will ever get things done. To quote Steven Covey:

“Synergy is the highest activity of life; it creates new untapped alternatives; it values and exploits the mental, emotional, and psychological differences between people.”

Stephen Covey, Author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Whatever your tradition of thanks, I share it with you today. If there’s anything I’ve learned in all the years that I’ve interacted with the frailty of life, it’s that every day is a gift. And I’m so grateful that mine are spent in the midst of my family and a global community of incredible people who are working together to make the world a better place.

Happy Gratitude Day.

Sue Montgomery is nuviun’s Senior Content Editor and has been a registered nurse for 30 years. You can follow her on Twitter @suemontgomeryrn.

The nuviun blog is intended to contribute to discussion and stimulate debate on important issues in global digital health. The views are solely those of the author.