“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William Arthur Ward
Are you leaving your gifts wrapped, collecting dust somewhere?
I confess for me, expressing gratitude doesn’t come easily. Perhaps it dates back to when I was told I said “Thank You” too often. There’s also a sense that if I say “Thank you” for something it will be taken away. That doesn’t make sense, but irrational fears are just that – irrational. As our national day of saying “Thanks” draws near I am blessed with a growing awareness of how much I have to be thankful for. With that is an increasing awareness of how few times I express gratitude. I need a game plan.
Kim Griffis from Northwest Video Edge has given our BNI chapter a game plan:
Each member has an envelope with his/her name on it. Then all the other members write something they appreciate about the person whose name is on the envelop. 40 members and we hope each member will get 39 notes of appreciation. I’d like to do something similar for the members of my family who meet for Thanksgiving.
I’ve read of people who commit to writing a “Thank You” note every day. Some people keep a “Gratitude” Journal, others put post it notes in a jar for a year. At the end of the 12 months they read their notes.
For me the image of the wrapped gift not given is poignant and prickly. I’ve been there. I bought my nephew a book about off-leash parks for dog owners in Seattle and surrounding towns. Unfortunately I lost it. Several years later tucked away in a box of Christmas decorations I came across the gift. Imagine my chagrin when he opened the gift. You see, his dog was dead and he had moved to Minnesota. Oops!
So, whereas it’s never too late to express gratitude, being timely is better. Journals and jars are fine, but are they partially unwrapped, partly given gifts? Never-the-less, if that’s where we have to start, it’s better to get started than wait for the perfect method and never get into expressing gratitude.
Are you one of the few who has a well-developed habit of expressing gratitude? If not, do you have a plan for developing the habit or are you leaving your gifts wrapped and collecting dust somewhere?
FYI: William Arthur Ward, born 1921 and died March 30, 1994, was a prolific writer of inspirational maxims. His poems and meditations have been published in magazines like Reader’s Digest, This Week, The Upper Room, Together, The Phi Delta Kappan and Ideals. On the Board of Directors of numerous organizations which included Rotary, Red Cross and Boy Scouts.