Gratitude and the Impact of Appreciation
Gratitude, graciousness, grace, gratefulness: what do these words have in common? They describe a life lived in mindful appreciation of the gift of simply living. Gratitude is the thankful appreciation for something you receive, either tangible or intangible, and the recognition of good in one’s life. Gratitude is linked to an overall greater happiness and an understanding that although some things are out of control, much of what happens in our life is linked to our thoughts, emotions and our focus.
The impact of appreciation is two fold: appreciation or gratitude is an optional conditioned response that we can choose over feelings of envy, greed or ungrateful, and secondly, when we show appreciation and say thank you to others, we pass on the positivity of gratitude.
What Does Saying Thank You Do for Others?
Saying thank you may seem inconsequential, especially when a service provided is someone’s “job” or when you feel they had to do it. But it’s not always about you. Saying the two little words to a person not only changes how an item, service or words are received, it also changes how it feels to give. You might be the only person that day to say “thank you” to the person. You might be the only patron at a store to treat them like a human instead of a servant. You might be the one to acknowledge them when they are hurting or depressed underneath their “job face.”
Saying thank you to someone for their words, service, or gift can help with:
- Feeling appreciated
- Social worth
- Feel needed
- Encourage others to help more
- Carry over to the next day(s)
It Starts With You
Making a difference truly starts with one person-you. You have the power to brighten every person’s day by creating impactful and mindful conversations. Saying thank you, smiling, showing genuine gratitude can change your life and the lives of those you say it to.
Don’t believe us? Have you ever done something for a child, another adult, a person at work or a friend? Did they thank you? Did they smile and give you a hug as they received a gift or words of encouragement from you? Or did they avert their eyes and say nothing? How does it feel to hear “thank you” or to not hear it?
Thankfulness and Our Schools
In the face of the current school climate, we must persevere. Living life with gratitude can change how we move forward from here it starts with us. We must demonstrate the power of gratitude and positivity for our children everyday. We must change how we interact with others so that they can do the same. If you walk through the world feeling ungrateful and entitled, what does that show to your children? Does it teach them that other’s lives are not valuable? Does it teach them to ignore the pain of others? Or does your attitude of gratitude and value of every life demonstrate that they can make a difference by saying thank you, by paying attention, and for valuing every living thing?
Dark Times Require a First Light
We must change how we interact with others. The more removed we become from others, the more we will lose sight of the value of human life. The more we are obsessed with image and faking a perfect life, the harder it will be to understand the pain others are going through. Finding value in other’s words, acts of service, and gifts is a light in the dark. And it will spread. It starts with one person, saying two words: Thank you.