Thanksgiving: 3 prompts to help us rekindle our spark

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Kristen is pictured here (center) with her Schweitzer project partner MacGyver Norris and Chicago Fellow for Life Jessica Tea.

By: Kristen Faucett Killeavy, MOT, FFL ’18

“The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live.” – Albert Schweitzer

As the holiday season approaches, there is a perpetual theme of thankfulness, giving, rejoicing, celebration, togetherness. In this time, many of us prepare for reunions with family members and friends. I know for me, sometimes these reunions are filled with awkward moments as folks who rarely see each other are thrown into shared space and time. My challenge to each of you is to turn these moments into amazing opportunities for connection with some tips below. This quote from Albert Schweitzer can get the ball rolling:

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer

Consider sharing this quote at the thanksgiving table and then using these three prompts to help the conversation go deeper:

3 Ways to Rekindle the Spark over Your Thanksgiving Meal:

  1. Find your Light – Discuss your passions and ask about the passions of others at the table. Bouncing ideas off of one another and creating an atmosphere of positive group thinking could just spark a new idea.
  2. Think with Deep Gratitude – Ask yourself and others: Who or what this year has ignited a fire, helped you out of the hopelessness, helped you through the trenches? Who this year helped you find your passions?
  3. Be the Spark and Light the Flame – This is my challenge for you. Albert Schweitzer shows us that there are people capable of rekindling sparks and encourages us to think with deep gratitude. I suppose he tells us in other ways to reciprocate that for someone else. You can be the helper. Will you? How will you show gratitude to the things that lighted the flame within you and how will you be that spark for others this holiday season and in the year ahead?

In the spirit of thanksgiving, I hope you find time to reflect on what you are truly thankful for.

About the author: Kristen Faucett Killeavy was a Schweitzer Fellow in 2017-2018 while studying occupational therapy at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa in the College of Allied Health. Her Schweitzer project, in partnership with MacGyver Norris, was to support children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia to improve their health and wellness while on the road to becoming cancer-free. It was based at the Tandy YMCA. Kristen is now a board-certified occupational therapist working in a pediatric setting and is active as a Schweitzer Fellow for Life.

Learn more about the Tulsa Albert Schweitzer Fellowship at