Happy Thanksgiving! Traditionally, this is the day we Canadians are supposed to be thankful for our harvest. So I’m appreciating the abundance of fruit on the tangle of cherry tomato vine outside our patio door, as well as the handful of stunted carrots my daughter managed to raise in her little backyard patch. That’s about the extent of our personal harvest.
Today we’re also supposed to express gratitude in general. So why do we need a designated day to remind us of this? Forgive me for spouting a cliché, but it’s far too easy to take certain things for granted. Instead the disappointments, the downers, the tough stuff often loom larger in our minds than the fact that we have fantastic families, a supportive social network, enough food to eat, a roof to keep off the rain, paying jobs, relative good health. I guess sometimes we have to be reminded that we have a lot to be thankful for.
Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to my point for today: Maybe feeling thankful is not a good deed exactly, but I do think saying thank you has to be one. It demonstrates to others that they are worthy of courtesy and acknowledgement. And it makes them feel appreciated. Who doesn’t like feeling appreciated? What a gift.
My favourite thank-you story is probably the time I wrote to a former high-school creative writing teacher to let him know what a difference his enthusiasm and upbeat approach to teaching had made for me, almost two decades years before. He wrote back – he remembered me (a bonus!) – and we’ve continued to stay in touch ever since. He sent me his marvelous short stories to read, and I even interviewed him for a magazine article I worked on.
This simple act of saying thank you led to the rekindling of a friendship and enriched me personally and professionally.
Do you have a great thank-you story?