Have you ever had one of those perpetual verbal exchanges of gratitude – you know, where you start off with “thank you,” and the other person says, “no, no, thank you,” and you insist, “no, thank you,” and she butts back in, ”really, thank you,” and there’s apparently no end in sight?
My husband’s place of work held an AGM recently. And when his colleague wrote to thank the caterer – the food, after all, was awfully tasty – the response was glowing.
“Thank you so much for your email!” wrote back Jane, the corporate functions manager at Pappas Grill in Toronto. Then she added: “I have to tell you that I was touched when I realized what your organization is all about.” (For those not in the know, hubby’s agency provides peer support, info and empowerment to people with disabilities.)
“I have a brother who is deaf,” Jane wrote. “…I know that without the services of organizations such as yours it would have made his life a whole lot more difficult. All of you are very special, and what you give to the community is immeasurable.”
When a thank you in response to a thank you makes you feverish with warm fuzzies, it’s the sort of letter that is sure to get forwarded all over the office. That’s in fact how I heard about it. And when I contacted Jane to ask if I might publicly share her kind words, she agreed, then confided that she had been moved to tears after meeting the folks at my husband’s workplace and learning what they do.
“We often lose sight of the things that we have to be grateful for in this life,” she told me. “We all have our own personal challenges, some more than others. It’s a blessing that there are people in this world who dedicate their lives to helping others in need.”
It’s true. We’re lucky to have folks devoted to helping us. And I think that’s true whether or not we have disabilities, or enough to eat, or a roof over our heads. As I mentioned just this week, I have friends who make sure my family gets a Thanksgiving dinner invitation. I have another neighbour committed to keeping my lawn from getting overgrown. I have other pals who pitch in without waiting to be asked. I have colleagues who are generous with their time and support. I have family members who are dedicated to easing my burdens in whatever way they can.
So to all you people in this world who spend time and energy assisting those in need, thank you. No, thank you. Really, I insist, thank you.
You get the idea.