Gratitude Is The Best

Gratitude is the best. I have been thinking about what it is to be grateful and how it feels to be grateful and what it feels like to receive gratitude. “Gratitude is the best” is the phrase that keep popping into my head. Now Thanksgiving is tomorrow so it would seem logical that my thoughts about gratitude coincide with Turkey Day; however, timing is coincidence.  I was actually thinking about what intangible things make people happy and gratitude kept coming to mind.  Is it possible to feel anything but warm and fuzzy after saying thank you as a result a kind, polite, selfless or generous gesture? You are reminded of a kind gesture when you give thanks and the other person’s kindness is acknowledged. I have been unable to think of a situation when an expression of gratitude results is something other than a positive outcome or feeling.  Saying thank you is effortless and it shows appreciation and is easy to do.  It is rewarding, courteous, thoughtful, appreciated, welcomed, valuable and positive.  I think gratitude can be a win win for all parties involved.

When I was in my first month of college as a freshman, I received a package from my friend Darah. It was a big tin of homemade chocolate chip cookies with a colorful handwritten sign of encouragement.  Kind of like those that we used to create for each other to decorate lockers before tennis matches, basketball games and lacrosse games. I thought it odd that she forgot to sign her name and there was no return address on the package but recognized the handwriting as Darah’s, or so I thought (I did send a thank you note, since I am writing about gratitude).  Fast forward to Christmas break when I  saw my friend Jen.  I told her about the special delivery of cookies I had received from Darah a couple months back.  Jen look at me with disappointment and surprise.  She said, “Those cookies were from me!!  I thought you never received them because you never mentioned them!” Oh awkward!  I sort felt like a dolt and I am sure Darah found my thank you note perplexing since she knew nothing of cookies! My gratitude had good intention behind it but had been misplaced! Jen has likely forgotten the cookie scandal after all these years but I have to stored in my brain as it was a lesson for me.  Of the many things in life to get right, knowing where and when to show gratitude is very high on the list!  Thank you can be very meaningful to the giver or doer as these two words tend to produce positive results.   It is one of the easiest ways to put a smile on someone’s face, in my opinion.  Who does not smile when they say ‘you’re welcome’ or ‘it was my pleasure’?

My mother taught my brothers and I from a young age to write thank you notes so it is just something we all do.  It is always funny (not funny ha ha) when someone says, ‘Thank you for your note, it is so nice to receive a handwritten letter.’ In this day in age, we do some many things with technology that an email or a text message may lack the same meaning as something handwritten.  There is much to be said for taking the time to sit down with pen and paper write your thanks after someone has taken the time to do something kind, polite, selfless or generous.  On the flip side, there will be things for which we never receive thanks because they are done with good intention and the anticipation of gratitude.  I was in the mall recently and walked by the children’s wish tree.  I thoroughly enjoy helping a child see their Christmas wish come true so I selected the tag for a girl who was hoping for an Easy Bake Oven.  I always wanted one (who didn’t) and know how exciting it is to open the thing you want most on Christmas Day (excluding any live animals like puppies or ponies – not good gifts).  I will never meet this young girl and she will never know who secured that pink and purple Easy Bake Oven but it is enough for me to know it will make someone happy.  Indirect or anticipated gratitude is good enough for me.

Consider those things for which you are thankful as often as you can, not just with turkey and mashed potatoes.  Go out of your way to thank someone when thanks are appropriate – it goes a long way. Be thankful for the intangible and the tangible things, the people in your life, opportunities, your latte.  If you send someone a message right now and say, “Thank you for being my friend” – you might just make someone’s day.

Thank you for reading this blog!

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