“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
One of the great benefits of the holiday season for many of us is taking time to look back on our lives and recognize the truly good things that have happened to us. In my case one of the highlights has been looking back just a few weeks and recognizing that if it were not for a number of caring medical people I might not be with you today. As I scan the years there are so many events and people that have contributed to my well being that there is no way I could express gratitude to them all.
As an example I owe a lot to a friend who helped me see I should retire in 1990. I did not think I could but he helped me see that it was the right thing to do. These last 23 years have been the best in my lifetime and that is due in no small part to my friend Denny, I wish he was here so I could again thank him but unfortunately he passed away earlier this week.
Please share your gratitude with the people who contribute to your wellbeing, it is one of the best presents you can give. Here are some ideas you can use to express your gratitude they taken from Ways to Show Gratitude for the People in Your Life written by Lori Deschene
Show Gratitude to People Who Love You
- Share a specific example of something they did for you and how it made a difference in your life.
- Give a long, intimate hug; or if you know they don’t like hugs, stick out your hand for a handshake to cater to their preferences and make them smile.
- Give them something of yours that you think they would enjoy, and let them know specifically why you want them to have it.
- Invite them to do something you know they’ve always wanted to do.
- Encourage them to try something you know they want to try, but haven’t yet because they’re scared.
- Compliment them on a talent, skill, or strength that you admire.
- Look them straight in the eyes and say, “You make the world a better place.”
Show Gratitude to People Who Serve You
- Give a larger tip than usual.
- If they have a tip jar, include a thoughtful note of appreciation along with your coins or bills.
- Smile when you order or enlist their assistance. Smiles are contagious, so give one away!
- Let their superior know they do an outstanding job.
- If you have their contact information, send an email of appreciation—and let them know you just wanted to express your gratitude, so they don’t need to write back.
- Praise them in a review on Yelp and/or recommend them to people you know.
Show Gratitude to People Who Work with You
- Write a hand-written thank you note, acknowledging things you value about them and their work.
- Bring back lunch for them if you know they’re working hard and likely haven’t had a chance to grab something.
- Ask them about their lives instead of always being all business. This doesn’t mean you need to pry into personal matters; it just means showing an interest in who they are as people.
- Listen fully if they’re having a difficult day, and recognize if they need space to figure things out on their own, not advice or help.
- Remember the little things can make a big difference!
At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
A British clergyman struggled along with a small congregation in a small neighborhood. A commercial firm offered to supply free hymn books, provided they could insert a bit of discreet advertising into the hymnals. The pastor was reluctant but finally agreed. When the hymnals arrived, he eagerly examined them and was delighted to find no brash advertisements on or inside the covers. The next Sunday, his flock began to sing from the hymnals. All went well until the third song, in which the congregation lifted their voices in unison to the melodious notes of:
Hark the herald angels sing,
Hanson’s pills are just the thing;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
Two for men and one for child.
Today everyone wants instant gratification, no matter how long it takes.
The Wednesday-night church service coincided with the last day of hunting season.
Or pastor asked who had bagged a deer. No one raised a hand.
Puzzled, the pastor said, “I don’t get it. Last Sunday many of you said you were missing because of hunting season. I had the whole congregation pray for your deer.”
One hunter groaned, “Well, it worked. They’re all safe.”
A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
In a stationery store, I quickly picked out a card for my wife for our anniversary. The clerk was surprised by how little time it took me, and she began relating a story about another customer who spent a half-hour searching for the right anniversary greeting.
Noticing the man lingering over one card after another, the clerk went to see if she could help. “Is there a problem?” she asked.
“Yes, there is,” he replied ruefully. “I can’t find one my wife will believe.”
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don’t.
Bobby and Ralph were walking home from Sunday School, each deep in his own thoughts. Finally Ralph said, “What do you think about all this devil stuff we studied today?”
Bobby replied thoughtfully, “Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. This is probably just your Dad, too…”
If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.
Rabbi Harold Kushner
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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