My Friend Ivan
~who is a not-family jewel
What comes to mind when you see or hear the name Ivan? Perhaps you know its origin: a variant of the ancient Greek name Ioannes, the Hebrew Yohannan. In English, Ivan translates to “John.” Although the Hebrew implied meaning is “God is gracious,” many people think of that Russian tsar guy from long ago — Ivan the Terrible.
The Ivan I know, my non-family person I feel is like a younger brother to me (how does this happen?), is not an Ivan the Terrible (except when it comes to certain jokes he repeats). His lifelong career has been in the jewelry business — but he could also be a chemist, a geologist, and a money changer (in a good way, not in the Biblical sense!) given all the information stored in his brain and being.
Ivan is a dear friend. With me he has shared his deepest sorrows, his greatest joys, an editorial relationship, and, his lovely family. The words I’m choosing to use in this short essay that honors our friendship show a man on a mission that I feel is interesting for you to know.
What makes my Ivan special is that he has deconstructed the concept of gratitude in ways that surprised me. He has built his life on the concept of gratitude swirling up all good energies — and expanded gratitude’s inherent greatness. He used his knowledge, experience, and his heart to create symbols and items with a call to action that represent the ways gratitude works magic in the world.
My friend Ivan’s desire is to keep expanding gratitude. His mission is to be the next tsar of appreciation: Ivan the Great for the rest of 2020 and beyond.
What about you? You may or may not know your mission, but owning one makes it worthy of words. I encourage you to write your mission. Consider this an invitation to send it to me via comment. Allow me to observe and be grateful for you the way I’ve observed, and am grateful for, my friend Ivan.
You all deserve to practice the exchange of gratitude.
You all deserve an essay in your honor. Why? Because I am grateful for all of you who’ve happened to read this post!