Monday, October 31, 2011

Two Very Powerful Words

To say "thank you" provides dignity to those receiving the accolades. It provides validation to those who have worked hard to be their best. They are rewarding and oftentimes all a benefactor is looking to obtain. Few understand the power of gratefulness. It is a fair estimate that this simple phrase contains two of the most un-utilized words in human language, regardless of ethnicity or culture.

Yet when one uses such powerful words, one must be cognizant that there is a difference between speaking the statement out of rote responsibility and saying them because one genuinely means it.

  • How often do sales clerks serve someone that looks them in the eye and says with gratefulness thank you for recognizing their kind and prompt service?
  • How many military veterans have had communities, strangers, friends and grandchildren say thank you for your sacrifice for my freedom?
  • How many of our uniform defenders receive thank you notes expressing our appreciation for what they do to protect our communities and families? 
  • How many moms or dads hear thank you from their children who are cognizant of the food provided, new clothes purchased or the assistance with homework?
  • How many spouses are generously applauded by each other for their extra work and service to the family?
  • How many strangers hear a generous thank you for their kindness in opening a door when we have full hands, helping entertain our children when we are sitting in a packed doctor's office waiting room, or simply offer that kind encouragement for the day because even though they don't know us, their keen perception has picked up on a strength or they simply want to go the extra mile just because they wished to be kind? 
  • How many elected officials, and public servants receive thank yous for standing for principles and towing the line when the world beseech ed them to do otherwise?

How many times do we look back and realize God protected us from a near car collision; someone was rescued from a dangerous health situation; we succeeded on an important test; a relationship was reconciled; a job was provided; a conflict was resolved; wisdom was bestowed; hearts were forgiven.

Our goal as a good people is not to only applaud perfection because that is not possible to obtain. We do not have entitlements that demand someone opens the door for us because we're significant; provides a special meal because it's a celebratory moment for us; or serves us with exquisite service as the restaurant because we are the payee and they are supposed to simply "do their job".

To the founding fathers of long ago, gratefulness was so significant to them that they established a holiday, a coming together, a moment for pause and adulation to Father God for His provision.

"Rendering thanks to my Creator for my existence and station among His works, for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying freedom, and for all His other kindnesses, to Him I resign myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through Jesus Christ for the events of eternity." - John Dickinson, Signer of the constitution

"Thro Various Scenes of Life God has Sustained me. May he ever be my unfailing [Friend], May his Love cherish my Soul, May my Heart with Gratitude Acknowledge his Goodness..." -Founding Father Oliver Wolcott - In a letter from Founding Father Oliver Wolcott to Laura Wolcott
Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume: 3 January 1, 1776 - May 15, 1776

Everyone has a narrative. Everyone has value. And everyone deserves grace. Many people are trying their best to be their best. We have much to be thankful for, dear friends. As benefactors of a Great God's love, forgiveness and redemption, we already have much for which to give thanks. Two very powerful words that when multiplied can change our world, starting in our own hearts, where it matters most.