Gratitude

Whether someone is just doing their job, volunteering or exceeding expectations, gratitude goes such a long way. Genuine, intangible, heartfelt gratitude and appreciation. It is the most powerful form of recognition that anyone can provide. And it’s incredibly wonderful to be on the receiving end. The positive energy, aka positive vibes, are so strong it is sometimes possible to see the physical effects. It ignites others. And most of all, it feels great for everyone involved.

This morning I had the privilege of spending time with a very good friend, Jeff Ansell, who does communication and media training. Jeff knows that every time I talk about the tragic death of my mother and sisters, I have trouble controlling my tears. In order to prepare me for my upcoming book launch, Jeff offered to pull out the big guns and provide me with some anti-crying strategies. No guarantees of course, but at least the tears will be less immobilizing.   

I picked Jeff up at 6 am so we could drive downtown together and beat the traffic. The first thing he did when he saw me was to thank me so much for picking him up. (He is helping and training me, and he’s thanking me. I would have picked him up in North Bay!) But that sweet and sincere “thank you” set the tone immediately. And then I watched as Jeff spread his magic throughout the early morning hours. We stopped for breakfast and he thanked the parking attendant, he thanked the host at the restaurant, he thanked the waiter, he thanked the chef. He doled out continuous, genuine, intangible, heartfelt gratitude and appreciation by saying thank you (really saying thank you) and smiling at each and every one of them. He did it so naturally and so sincerely, I don’t even think he realized the effect he was having on these people. But I did. They smiled back. They obviously felt his gratitude for them and for what they did, despite the fact that they were just doing their job.

He appreciated them. They appreciated him. It was like watching a gift exchange.

I can say with complete confidence that not a day has gone by where I haven’t thought about my family who I lost almost 40 years ago. And I can also say without any doubt, that both Barry and I are where we are today because we have valued and appreciated so many people along the way. An invitation for dinner, a ride somewhere, a cup of coffee, an old table and chairs . . .  no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, we were grateful. We said thank you. The feel good kind of thank you. Because we meant it.

Having each lost so much as children, we learned early on that you never take anything for granted. We truly appreciated and valued anything and everything that others did for us. Gratitude was always our underlying attitude. And now that we are in a position to give back, we love the genuine thanks and appreciation we continuously receive. Giving, getting, appreciating, thanking . . . it’s a continuous positive cycle.

When someone says thank you and really means it, their gratitude makes its way right into your heart. I think we are incredibly lucky to understand and appreciate the value of gratitude in life.

It continues to amaze me that there are people like Jeff who thank others profusely for the smallest things, and sadly, there are others who will take and take without ever feeling grateful.

Ungratefulness breeds greed and jealousy.

Gratitude breeds abundance.

About Lynda Fishman

LYNDA WEINBERG FISHMAN is an inspirational speaker, author of Repairing Rainbows, and survivor of an unspeakable personal tragedy. In 1970, when she was 13, her mother and two sisters were killed in an Air Canada plane crash. Her father fell into a deep depression, and she was essentially left to fend for herself. Lynda has turned her wounds into wisdom. With a message about courage, strength and hope, Lynda now spends her time sharing her moving story and her eight “happiness inducing strategies”.
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2 Responses to Gratitude

  1. Leens K says:

    Lynda,

    That is SO true. I was also brought up to be gracious, appreciative and always say thank you. It is so important and the little things like that go a long way. Even a simple “thank you” or a smile means a lot. I love your blog and THANK YOU for sharing your stories with us!! Can’t wait for the book launch!

    Leens

  2. Lynda, thank you for this refreshing reminder about the power of the virtue of gratitude. You hit the nail on right on the head. I’ve long proposed that “gratitude is the most sustainable and renewable of all human resources” for its inherent nature to regenerate and perpetuate positivity, just as you described. I’ve just ordered your book, “Repairing Rainbows,” and look forward to delving in. Thank you for sharing your very personal and life-altering experiences for the benefit of others. I will be sharing your work in my own promotion of the beautiful and empowering virtue of gratitude.
    Sincerely,
    Nora Firestone

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