Sunday, January 09, 2011

walking the talk; showing gratitude

... almost invisible at times are small common courtesies, those of extending a simple thank you to another when they have taken time to think of us, even in the simplest and smallest imaginable way.

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."
~ G.B. Stern

Making it a priority in my own life to offer thanks right away seemed to heighten within me once I had children, so when they became old enough to utter their gratitude and offer hugs, they were encouraged to do so.

As distance became a factor, they were encouraged to make their own thank you notes, or speak on the telephone instead.

If there is anything I know for sure, I've learned that we as mothers have the power to train up a new generation of children in the ways of gratitude, to instruct our own children well on how to react promptly when someone gifts them in any way, or even on how to accept something so simple as a verbal compliment.

Two little words, (no matter how they are delivered) of "thank you" are always appropriate and will never become overrated!

" I would maintain that thanks is the highest form of thought;and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
~ G.K. Chesterton

No matter the age of a person, nor the century they live in, those two simple words have the power to swell our hearts right back towards those we are speaking or writing to.

Call it love in action, it is our christian duty to offer gratitude toward another, at least I've come to believe this is indeed the proper and most courteous thing to do.

I admit there have been times when I have been guilty of improper prioritizing or forgetting to make a simple call to assure another their package or note arrived safely in my mail box, or perhaps I forgot to pen a short thank you note, promptly.

Obviously some of our younger children are still in a general form of training, yet still, it will always be my heartfelt goal to be the best I can be so to practice what I preach so loudly.

In turn, I hope our children will also continue forward by training their own children on this tremendously important virtue, a virtue which will always remain timeless when passing through each generation, and through every single world culture.

When it comes to gifting, both sets of our own parents have had kind words to offer on the subject;
"We like to ensure our grandchildren by way of visits, telephone calls, notes or small gifts, that they have grandparents out here who are thinking of them, and remember them no matter where they live in the world." (I loved hearing this by the way!)

It makes me stop and wonder;

Can any of us (as parents) recall a time when we (perhaps unintentionally) allowed our children to get away without even acknowledging their grandparent's thoughtfulness by having them return a thank you right back towards them, or anyone else in their lives for that matter who have been so kind as to take the time to think of them?

Sadly, ... someday down the road, one true fact will remain that some of these precious people in our lives, may eventually become but a memory, and regrets may begin if we don't take the time to reciprocate cordial communications when appropriate in our present day.

So then, a challenge where I'm calling all mothers...

Won't you please join me in remembering just how powerful our parental example and efforts are when it comes to raising virtuous children we hope will harness a grateful spirit all by themselves in the future?

"Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all."

~ William Faulkner

Yes mothers, let's also make it our priority to be sure to "walk our talk" during 2011 because "action speaks so much louder than words". :)

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Just a little thought... with Christmas of 2010 freshly behind us, if you haven't done so already, perhaps you might wish to consider if there are any gifts or thoughtful notes you or your family received that still remain unacknowledged.

Rest assured that it's never too late to begin challenging yourself and your children to practice this virtue of gratitude.

May I humbly suggest that if this is an important topic subject for you; please go ahead and pick up the telephone today, maybe create a small art center so your children can make a thank you note whenever the need arises, or if you have to, please use your best technological abilities if that's how you communicate due to where you are living in the world.

Think how good you and your children will feel for having accomplished this small but mighty virtuous deed.

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."

~ William Arthur Ward