More Gratitude: Who Walks Beside You?

–Time to Shout It From The Rooftops

Cultivating gratitude matters. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts, and benefits we’ve received. When we look at life as a whole, gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life. We recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. We can appreciate positive traits in ourselves, but I true gratitude involves a humble dependence on others: We acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.

Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

– Albert Camus

Whether it be chaotic times like the present or just everyday times in your life, who do you know that “just walks beside you” every step of the way? Who are your truly grateful for? It’s one thing to have friends who provide support during times of success. But genuine friends are there through all of our peaks and valleys —the grief, the joy, the failures, and everything in between. Through their example, their kindness and other attributes, genuine friends make us better versions of ourselves,  which is one of the greatest gifts they could ever give. And most of all, they are present and they really listen.

It’s been a challenging time of fear, uncertainty and anxiety for so many. What better time than now to give those truly special friends in your lives —the ones that continue to  “just walk beside you” a shout out of gratitude? Right here. Right now.

I’ll start by thanking my best friend and beautiful wife Ali who by word and deed has made me a better version of myself from the moment we met. Not only is it because of her in my life that I know that “fairytales do come true”, but she’s one of those rare friends that not only asks how I’m doing —but always waits to hear the answer.

Just another example of how simple and how powerful our efforts to “Do More” can be. See our article below for even more ways to Do More:

In Search of Humanity: Time to Do More?

Dennis Pitocco
Dennis Pitocco
DENNIS is Founder & CEO & Reimaginator of 360° Nation, encompassing a wide range of multimedia enterprises, including BizCatalyst 360° —an award-winning global media digest; 360° Nation Studios —dedicated to reaching across the world in an effort to capture, produce, and deliver positive, uplifting messages via game-changing productions such as HopeFest 360°, and; GoodWorks 360° —a pro-bono consulting foundation focused entirely on providing mission-critical advisory services to nonprofits worldwide. Everything Dennis does is carried out "for-good" vs. "for-profit", reflecting his belief that it’s time for a renaissance of pure, unbridled wonder. Time to renew in both our hearts and in our souls more joy, more kindness, more compassion, more understanding, and that magical sense of truly belonging to something greater than the status quo. And time to bring the spirit of “humanity at its very best” back to the forefront. More about his "backstory" HERE. Dennis is also a contributing author to the Best-Selling Book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change.


  1. Great reminder here, Dennis, to surround ourselves with people who inspire us, who support and encourage us, and who call us out (gently) for our bullshit when necessary!

    It took me well into my 30s to create the kind of community I wanted to spend real time with, and to be discerning about people who wouldn’t help me bring out my best self. It really is all about the company you keep, right?

    Many years ago my friend said: “Sarah, your partner/spouse is either your greatest asset or your biggest liability. Choose wisely.” I would say every individual that you choose to invest energy into can be those things as well.

    Like you, I happen to be married to my biggest asset, my cheerleader, and the one who can tell me when I’m wrong. I’m pretty lucky, I think. I love him, of course, but I like him A LOT, which is just as important!

    • Love your perspectives here Sarah, as they form a roadmap stitched together with extraordinary wisdom. Amazing how our spouses can truly be the “wind beneath our wings” … Came upon a quote soon after writing this article that speaks volumes about not only our partners in life but about that rare “inner circle” that we’ve been blessed with over the years; “Some people arrive and make such a beautiful impact on your life, you can barely remember what life was like without them.”

  2. Were I to only have one friend I would be blessed, but my friends, so many from Catalyst 360,
    my own groups and pages, The people that I grew up with that are still friends and my best friend Buddy my dog. He is always by my side.

  3. Seneca said: with a friend you can do everything, but the first thing you have to do is decide if it’s really a friend. When you have verified it seriously you must trust him. Friends are not our “clones”, but they are a completion of ourselves, with which a perfect harmony is created so that even without the need for big speeches, the other already knows what you mean and vice versa, indeed the friend is the one with whom you can also be silent.
    The most important thing in a friendship relationship, in my opinion, is respect, naturally combined with sincerity, understanding and mutual complicity. Friendship is a deep and confidential bond that unites two or more people. In fact this feeling has a fundamental value: it can be distributed among many individuals, with various nuances, without any of them feeling devalued.
    Except for some childhood friends with whom I am still in contact, friendship with my wife is what I can define as fulfilling and complete.

  4. Dennis, thank you for this post and for the reminder to cherish those who walk beside us. I have more acquaintances than I could ever count. I have a small circle of friends who are there when I need them most and recognize that need the least. And admitting my bias, first among them, of course, is Anne.

    SPOILER ALERT: Yesterday morning, in her typical fashion, Anne was out of bed before I was. (I usually linger a few minutes to give Eddie, our nine-pound pooch, a snuggling companion.) When I roll out, Anne is typically in the kitchen feeding Sammy, our lunatic cat, and making coffee. Yesterday, however, she was in her office writing.

    I made coffee and was sitting at the kitchen table. Anne came out with her laptop and asked me if she could read something to me. She’d written a piece called, The Breakfast Club. As she read, tears rolled down my cheeks at the inimitable beauty of what she’d written. We talked about it for a few moments, then began the activities of our respective days.

    At mid-morning, I went upstairs from my basement office to re-fill my coffee cup. Anne was just coming in, having taken Eddie outside. She said, “I just had another idea.” I gave Eddie his treats as Anne hustled off to her office. Later in the morning, I received an email from Anne with an attachment. Even before I’d opened it, she was coming through the door to my office, crying. I read Anne’s email and opened the attachment. It was a piece called, Packin’ My Suitcase Like Grampa. As I got to the fourth paragraph, I was sobbing, weeping like a baby with my glasses off and my head on my arms, which I’d folded on my desk.

    Anne asked, “Do you know why we’re crying?”

    I said, “I don’t know about you. But I’m crying because this is so unbelievably beautiful.”

    The circle tightened. We became closer still.

    Anne reveres my close friends as I do. But some places in the friendship circle are more special than others. Anne’s is singular.

    Thank you for sharing Ali with us. And thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this story.

    P.S. Anne will share those two stories she wrote on BIZCATALYST360 in her own time.

    • What a wonderful, genuine “slice of life” shared here Mark – bringing life and meaning to that elusive “holy grail” of friendship at its deepest levels. As Aristotle said so well and so simplistically: “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” … It’s clear that you and Anne bring out the best in each other… God Bless you both as the gift of friendship, particularly within a marriage is (as Ali and I both know very well) a gift that simply keeps on giving …

  5. My joy jar is overflowing – many days my ‘Thank you, God for _______” includes names of people. I write hundreds of personal notes every year. The USPS loves my business. I’m pretty sure my friends love to receive letters in their mailboxes. I am not a phone person. I would rather text than talk. I am not good at networking, but sit me at a table with another breathing soul and we can cheer each other up with stories that nobody else cares about but us. Friends are the gifts we give ourselves. A friend is someone who saves your place.

  6. Thanks muchly, Dennis.

    I was seeing a woman named Jen for several months and then we broke up (actually, she was the broker, I was the brokee).

    I was talking with my friend John and he asked, “How’s Jen?”

    “It didn’t work out.”

    “Oh, it worked out. Just not the way you wanted.”

    I am grateful for the whole shebang. Every person shows up, we sail on the same boat for awhile, even a minute, then ?????

    We surrendered our dog, Dempsey, in March and I mentioned it to a neighbor:

    “Are you going to get another dog?”

    “Yeah, but not right away.”

    “That’s why I never get pets. I know I’ll have to say goodbye.”

    Wow. Trying to live without pain is a pain. Been there, and I never want to go back. So even the folks who make the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up give me a chance to listen, reflect, and be grateful.

    Be good, everyone. And well.


  7. Dennis – Great timing. Jennifer and I celebrate our anniversary tomorrow – May 10th – and I cannot think of a better partner. Smart. Quick. Supportive. Inventive. And she challenges me when I turn to my wallowing pit. Less frequently needed these days. I have lots of strong relationships and more budding relationships thanks to you and 360′. I have three people whom I would call real friends – people I could turn to in addition to Jen who I believe will always be there. I will not name them here, but I’m telling the universe to tap them on the shoulder or whisper in their ear.

    • Nice to hear that our mutual “centers of gravity” are our amazing spouses, Jeff. And the rest need not be named as there’s little doubt that they already know who they are and why you call them a friend simply by your words and deeds day in and day out with them, for them and because of them … Thanks for sharing your perspectives, my friend.

  8. Dennis, thank you for exhorting us to be thankful for the special people in our lives. There are several such people in my life but in the interest of their right to privacy I will not name them. There are a few special people I can and will name. They are Larry Tyler, Bharat Mathur, Johnny Johnson, Len Bernat, Sandy Chernoff and Joanne Victoria. Most of all it is G-d who is always with me. Juice the cat is somewhere in the mix as well.






"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it."


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