I am overwhelmed with reasons to be thankful. I am also full of memories about the thanks-deserving moments in my path through life. If that’s true for you, too, you might want to consider beginning a “thanks ministry” where you are right now. At home, in your church, at your assisted living facility, with your family or friends. A way of changing the world around you, sure. But also a way of changing who you are, way down inside of you, so that you always approach life with gratitude. Some observations:
- Your gratitude doesn’t always have to be deserved.
- There are bazillions of ways to express thanks, all of them observable, tangible, effective.
- You have gazillions—a larger number than bazillions—of reasons to be grateful for who you are, where you’ve come from, what’s happening now and where you’re going next.
- You’re NOT God, so you may not deserve the thanks you get from others!
- Many of us are better at criticizing, correcting or complaining than we are at expressing thanks.
- Showing, expressing, giving, offering thanks does NOT require special training.
- At your age, you may already be an expert at extending gratitude to others.
- A thank-you (with a smile from your shining face) can make someone’s day.
- Expressed gratitude changes brain chemistry. (They’re called “feel-good neurotransmitters” and they do wonders for brains of any age.)
- An attitude of gratitude—No, I did NOT invent this expression, so don’t thank me—spreads into other individuals and gatherings of people like ripples on a pond.
You can figure out how to start or continue a ministry of thanks. But if you need more ideas, send me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll send you some of mine.
In the meantime, be an example of gratitude wherever you find yourself.