A very sweet lady that I have known since I was probably eight posted this on Facebook for her granddaughters. I love it for that, and for the very simple message – notice and appreciate. This simple lesson is something that we can take from this season of gratitude and apply it year round. We will be better people for it.
We take so much for granted – people most of all – so think about the small opportunities that you have to notice and appreciate. That harried clerk who has to ask for your id when you use a credit card. Instead of harrumphing about what a pain it is, thank the clerk for being concerned about fraud and show your id with a smile. It will totally change the day for both of you. And on a side note, thank you to those companies who check id from someone who had her wallet stolen from VBS one year, and the thieves racked up almost $1000 in charges in less than 45 minutes – $245 in underwear. Notice the barista at Starbucks who has a squillion detailed orders to fill and gets them all right. Notice the school secretary who answers every phone call with compassion and kindness and patience even though she has been asked the same question forty times already, even though the answer to the question was sent out in two emails and a tweet. Notice the person who opens the door for you, or better yet, notice the person struggling to open the door and give them a hand. Notice the elderly couple who are still holding hands in the mall. Notice the IT person who answers your questions with patience and never once makes you feel incompetent or stupid. Notice your mail carrier, who delivers you mail with the same care he delivers his own. Notice the health care worker, day care worker, or server at your restaurant. Notice the teacher who will do whatever it takes to help your child be successful, the counselor who makes sure your child has the support to work through problems, and the principal who orchestrates it all and balances love and discipline. Notice the checker at the grocery store who lets the child with special needs help her ring up the groceries. Notice as much as you can. Say something to those who you are noticing to show how much you appreciate their efforts.
Yes, most of these people are just doing their jobs, but if they were not, where would you be? And where would everyone else be if you did not do your job? Everyone, no matter what, loves to be appreciated even for the smallest thing. So reach out to those around you and truly show your appreciation for as much as you can. And keep this attitude of gratitude with you all year long. Not only will you be making someone else’s day, it will open your eyes to all of the blessings in your life.