There’s a very sweet trend happening on Facebook right now: every day in the month of November, people write about what they’re thankful for.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life,” author Melody Beattie said. “It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
And when you are grateful for what you’ve been given, it’s natural for people to want to bless you.
There’s an anecdote about gratitude that Christian leader Beth Moore shared at one of her simulcasts that always makes me smile when it comes to mind. The daughter of her friend won a competition of some kind, and she was awarded a pet fish for her prize.
Beth showed a photo capturing the little girl’s delighted expression, and it was priceless. Her eyes were wide, and her jaw was nearly to the floor.
“This?! I get this?!” Beth said as she narrated what the girl must have been thinking.
With a reaction like that, who wouldn’t want to get that girl a whole aquarium with loads more fish?
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder,” wrote theologian Gilbert K. Chesterton.
“A person however learned and qualified in his life’s work in whom gratitude is absent, is devoid of that beauty of character which makes personality fragrant,” said Sufi leader Hazrat Inayat Khan.
This week, I received a phone call from the motivational speaker, Paul Vitale, who gave the keynote address at the United Way’s Bright Ideas conference that took place at Green Acres on Friday.
“I just wanted to say thank you for covering the event,” he said.
That’s it? I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop — for him to say I had misquoted him or to ask for another story. But he didn’t say a single negative thing. For someone who speaks nationally to take the time to say a sincere thank you after the fact is pretty rare. It was refreshing and gave me a new resolve to say it more often.
This Thanksgiving, let’s remember not only to thank God for the blessings He’s given, but to thank the people we encounter for the joys they bring to our lives as well.