My Dearest Omega Family!  I am absolutely blown away that 2018 is coming to an end and that I find myself sitting at my computer writing this very special letter once again.  Each year as I take the opportunity to sit and reflect and write down my thoughts and feeling towards you, an interesting thing happens.  After 20-30 minutes of reflection and meditation on the events of the year, the words I need to say just come to my mind; this is year is no exception.  In my life I have come to rely on this process of receiving revelation and inspiration. At one point in my life the “waiting” part of this process would drive me nuts; but it is now my favorite part of writing this letter.  The theme that has clearly come to my mind is GRATITUDE.  I would like to take this letter and express to you the many things that I am grateful for and let you know that ALL of you are at the top of that list.

I love being around people who show an abundance of gratitude each and every day and seem to always talk about how grateful they are; their attitude towards life is infectious and it inspires me to want to feel those same feelings of appreciation towards all things around me (small and big).  I remember many years ago, when I first arrived on the island of Jamaica, where I served my LDS mission, I was absolutely blown away by the amount of poverty I witnessed.  I saw families of 6 or more living in one-room zinc shacks with dirt floors with only a candle for light.  I remember I used to get very emotional when I would enter these humble homes of these Jamaican families.  Then I would feel how happy they were and how grateful they were for each other and for what little they had.  Why?  They had next to nothing when it came to material possessions and what the “world” tells us we should have in order to be happy.  I learned a very valuable lesson about happiness and gratitude and how they were very much connected.  I learned that being happy does not mean you have “more” of something; it means you are truly grateful for what you currently have, and when you show true gratitude for what you have now, what you have…becomes enough.

I once read a quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley that stated: “Gratitude creates the most wonderful feeling.  It can resolve disputes.  It can strengthen friendships.  And it makes us better men and women.”  I love this quote!  When I truly show gratitude, I get the most wonderful feeling inside and I then feel inspired to go and be better for those around me.  In this life there is so much to be thankful for.  It is so easy to get caught up in our own selves that we fail to pause for a moment and look around us and see the many blessing we do have.  I challenge myself and all of you to pause right now and reflect on your blessings and be grateful for them; sincerely grateful.

Let me start right now…  I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, who know me personally and are the source of all that I am and have.  I am grateful for my wonderful and beautiful wife.  She is the best and I love her dearly.  There are not enough words in the English language (or space on this paper) to adequately express how deep my feelings of gratitude go for her, so it sufficeth me to say… that she rocks!  I am grateful for my 4 amazing children.  I love them with my whole soul and my driving force, each and every day, centers around how I can be the best dad for them.  I am grateful that I was raised by the choicest of women.  Shihan Jan was and always will be the voice in my head that inspires me to always do my best to fulfill the measure of my creation while here on this earth.

I love and will always be grateful for all our Omega black belts and students – past, present, and future.  I love our whole Omega family and I cannot think of a better group of people to share this physical, mental, and spiritual journey with.  I am so grateful for all of you who sacrifice so much to give of yourself each and every day.  I love knowing that, because of you, Omega is a loving, safe place for all to come and have an authentic, fun, and challenging journey towards black belt and beyond.

I love you and am so grateful for you… period!  (Now is the time you image me giving you individually a great big hug 🙂

Let us all be more grateful for our blessings and let us all show more gratitude towards one another and what we all mean to each other.  For in that gratitude…we will all find that we have enough.

With Sincere Love and Gratitude,

Kwanjangnim Richard