Many years ago I was introduced to a book titled Simple Abundance: A Day Book of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It’s a book of daily affirmations that encouraged the writing of a gratitude journal where you list five things you’re grateful for every single day.
I have no idea where my copy of the book is now, but the memory of it popped into my mind while attending a local high school graduation ceremony.
You see, in preparation for the commencement activities each student had to write out a short speech to be read as they crossed the stage. Many thanked their parents or individual teachers and many were just glad to be done with high school life.
Witnessing these young people wrap up a major chapter of their lives made me not only grateful for the fact that all these kids had the opportunity to attend school, but also that we live in a place that, though far from perfect, allows for safety, diversity, and freedom from persecution.
We take so much for granted. I’d like to remind everyone to show their gratitude for the abundance in your lives. Whether it’s for a gift you received, to a grandmother who raised you, a person, organization or group that helped in a time of need or provided a positive experience in your life.
Write them a note.
Yes, I know handwriting is now considered a secret code for old people but you can still take the time and neatly print out a message of thanks. First, acknowledge another’s kindness and sincerely express how that kindness made you feel. You see, that’s sort of the secret key in which your gratitude then turns and spreads the positive feeling even further as the recipient feels good about their actions.
Bringing it all way round is like completing a circle of gratitude of graciously accepting, sincerely recognizing the gift, understanding that it was given from a place of unselfish caring and that your gratitude spreads a positive feeling of fullness.
Your note doesn’t need to be fancy or use big words. It just needs to reflect the truth. If you don’t feel that you can write it, then make a phone call. The important thing is that it’s done.
If you don’t know how to write a letter or address an envelope look it up on YouTube.
I know you’re capable and clever. Even if time has passed since receiving the gift, it’s never too late to be grateful. The recipient will always appreciate it.
To help you I’m going to do up a sample thank you letter and envelope on my blog, My Twisted Writer Brain, located on my website www.fayeearcand.com I give you permission to copy it and make it your own.
Gratitude, both giving and receiving, are life-changing. Weave the practice into your daily life to help you stay more positive, humble, and real. As Breathnach says, “Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”
I’d like to dedicate this column of gratitude to all the teachers who work tirelessly to encourage, teach, and even sometimes parent our children.
We don’t say it loud enough and or often enough.
A very special thanks to Mr. Jeff Fitton at Princess Margaret High School. He not only connects with each student on their level, but actually hears their very real concerns, fears, and anxieties and then works with them to find a resolution. Bravo.
I know there are many other unsung heroes and to you, I offer my sincerest gratitude.
Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her website at www.fayeearcand.com.
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