Reverand Virginia Ellison of Unity in Long Beach, Ca. recently delivered a message on the topic of expressing thanks to those who do things for us. She talked about how saying ‘thank you’ is a great way of expressing gratitude for some act that we appreciate but she added that when we say thank you for things in a specific way such as “thank you for opening the door for me,” “thank you for the compliment, it made my day,” “thank you that we were able to spend this holiday dinner together” and things of such nature that it opens the door to conversation between her and the other person. They are more receptive and are no longer strangers. Those who are more timid now open up. A door for interaction that might not have been there before appears.
So, can we be willing to go further in our expression of gratitude knowing it might detain us in our busy schedule or even put us in the position of having to engage in conversation we’re not inclined to want? Would we be willing to do this if we knew we were doing a service to those extending their offering? Expressing an extended “thank you” is such a simple act which can be very powerful even though we may we never know the full impact it will have on the receiver. And, although we might not realize it at the time, sometimes the giver needs to be given the opportunity to give. Likewise, when we walk away, we could find that our own lives have been changed in a positive way that we had not anticipated and all because we decided to let someone know we were grateful for our lives entwining where we were both giver and receiver.