May 25, 2012

Saying "Thank You"

A man in his forties was thinking about the people who made a difference in his life, and he remembered a teacher whose knowledge and experience prepared him so well for his career and his life as well.

He called the school and learned the teacher retired many years earlier in the same town where she taught. After writing a letter expressing his gratitude for the teacher’s devotion to her students, he received this response:
Dear Bill,
I can’t tell you how much your note meant to me. I am in my eighties, living alone in a small room, cooking my own meals and like the last leaf of fall, lingering behind. 
You may be interested to know I was a teacher for fifty years, and yours is the first note of appreciation I ever received. It came on a blue cloud morning, and it cheered me as nothing has in years.
How little it takes to cheer someone. But not everyone is capable of saying, “thank you.” For some people it’s an admission of vulnerability, or it suggests they don’t want to feel indebted. They don’t want to owe anybody anything.
In an article in Psychology Today, Dr. Rich Hanson writes,
“ . . . when you say “thank you” to someone, it’s a small moment with big ripples: a confirmation of a deep and wonderful truth, that we all depend on each other, that we are all joined - across the dinner tables and across the world - in a web whose threads are innumerable acts of giving.”
St. Paul wrote that we should “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus."

Is there someone to whom you owe a debt of thanks? If so, find a way to express your gratitude. In that simple act, you have the power to cheer others and contribute grace to life.