When we think of expressing profound gratitude towards others our thoughts often focus on those people who are the most prominent figures in our lives – children, parents, spouse, and friends. They have most likely been in our lives the longest and have shared wonderful memories and supported us during difficult times. To many, this is an obvious choice because they represent the strongest place in our hearts. When we express our appreciation for them it is as though we are walking through the front door of the “house of gratitude.”
After reading this recent article, I was reminded and encouraged to see that we have more than one door available. These school students were asked to write letters of appreciation to veteran’s for Valentine’s Day. As a result of the assignment, one teenage girl, Madelaine took the opportunity to spend time with her father and learn all about his military service. Their conversation created new memories she will always have of her father, as he died within days of their precious time together.
To me, the young people in this article had the opportunity to express their profound gratitude to someone they didn’t know for what they had given to them by serving our country. You might say they came in the back door to the “house of gratitude.” That gesture in and of itself would be very rewarding to the student and the beneficiary.
While they are expressing gratitude to a stranger, they can incorporate a tribute to someone in their own family who is no longer alive but had also served our country in the military. Although it would have been more meaningful to express this gratitude when the family member was alive it is still a wonderful way to feel and share their appreciation.
Now for the side door.
Sometimes there is hesitancy about how to begin the conversation. If you can start with a particular subject, like Madelaine did with her father about his military service, the conversation can grow from there. Once you have entered the “house of gratitude” take the time to mention the many other influences this person had in your life. It will enrich your expression of gratitude and your relationship.
No matter how you approach it or which door you take, living in the “house of gratitude” is a comfort everyone should experience. Who can you start a conversation with today?
Free Book Promotion: If you share your story of expressing profound gratitude here on my website during the month of February, you will be eligible to win a free autographed copy of This is the Moment!
To read the entire article of the school-aged children writing letters to veterans, click here.