Take time to say thanks

September 20, 2010

The pencil writing was barely legible so I leaned closer to get a better look. The hand-writing revealed youth, vigor, vim and a gratitude that moved me. It was a thank-you note, scribbled on a Post-It note twenty-four years ago. It was a demonstration of thanks for a wonderful year as an exchange student who lived with a loving family in the outskirts of Bonn. That student was me.

I visited those people this weekend again and was amazed at the little notes they still had from me. My family is partial to surprise love letters and little sticky notes that we sprinkle around each other’s houses when we’re on a visit. I had no idea what kind of legacy it would leave behind. It strengthened my resolve to continue teaching my own kids the importance of saying ‘thank you’ in writing to people who are kind to you.

BeliefNet just ran a neat gratitude slide show that once again reminded me of the importance to take the time to say thanks. It doesn’t take a lot, but it means so much. Looking at the yellowed paper hanging on my friend’s bulletin board, I smiled broadly at the love demonstrated on two square inches of paper.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity… It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

-–Melody Beattie

Gratitude is more than saying thanks. It’s saying yes to your life and everybody in it. What are you grateful for today?

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