The gift of gratitude

3 Mar
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As I continue to write down every penny I spend it is becoming clear to me that my financial coach, my sister the Queen of Everything Money, will be probably have something to say about one category in particular, and that would be gifts.  But something happened to me yesterday that made me start thinking about the power of the gift of gratitude.  It costs nothing and it can actually even make your life seem lighter.

The story goes like this.  A couple of weeks ago I was driving home after dropping kids off at kindergarten and as I was stopped waiting for the light to change when POW, someone rear-ended me.  My first thought was that I was so happy that the kids were not in the car.  The man got out of his car, we determined that no one  was hurt so we decide to pull out of the traffic and we exchanged information as you are supposed to do. 

An examination of the cars revealed little damage, at least visible, and we were both amazed as it was a pretty good hit.  I told him I would let him know if there was anything that needed attention, gave him a hug (he looked like he needed one), and went on my way.

Yesterday, I check my voicemail and in between the messages about the all the things someone thinks I should buy and the messages that let me know about all the things that need to go on to my  to-do list, there is a message that simply says says thank you.  It is from the man that bumped into me.  He wanted to say how grateful he was that I was so kind about what happened and that it really could have turned into an unpleasant process but it did not and he wanted to let me know that he really appreciated it.

That message made me feel wonderful.  You know I felt as if someone had just given me a gift.  The gift of gratitude.  I often try to extend a hand, say a kind word, or even just listen to someone who needs an ear but rarely does someone notice enough to take the action of showing their gratitude.

That got me thinking.  If a small gift of gratitude from a stranger could make me feel this good I wonder what the effect would be if I practiced this with my family.  So beginning today I am going to sincerely try to notice the things my husband, kids and grandkids do that are good, and take the action of showing my gratitude (I am pretty sure this will be easy because I have a lot of  practice noticing what they do wrong and acting on it).

So what experiences do you have with the gift of gratitude?  I would love to hear about the gifts of gratitude that you have given or received that made life a little happier, a little  lighter.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.  ~Dalai Lama

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2 Responses to “The gift of gratitude”

  1. Lisa March 16, 2011 at 10:26 AM #

    I challenge all of you t0 check out this website, http://www.rachelschallenge.org and see what you can do to help. I think this is powerful. A smile,
    Opening a door for someone, any small jester can mean the world to someone. Think about it. It does not cost you one penny, but may make someones day, or maybe more.

  2. queenoffamilosity March 17, 2011 at 4:25 AM #

    I will check it out. Thank you Lisa!

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