We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.
A Zen story tells of a prosperous man who awoke on his birthday with a mission in mind. With tears in his eyes and love in his heart he informed his wife: “I must travel back down the road of life to thank those who have helped me along the way.”
“Don’t go,” his wife said softly.
“But why?” he asked.
“There are so many,” she replied. “You will never return.”
It’s true. Thinking back on my own life, I realize that some of the people who were so good to me along the way are now lost, out of touch, or gone forever. A teacher who inspired me. A mentor who guided me. A minister who comforted me. A partner who believed in me. A client who was loyal to me. A good friend who stood by me. Did I thank them? I’m not sure, but I do know I meant to.
Yesterday is gone forever, but Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. This year, why not look at this beautiful holiday as a fresh chance to actually call or write a few of the people who made a difference in your life.
Did someone walk you home from school when you were little? Who sat up with you all night when you were sick?
Who taught you how to catch a fish, or kick a ball, or carry a tune? Who talked you out of quitting the team, or talked you into getting a degree?
Who knew you way back when? Who believed in you before you believed in yourself? Who gave you your first break, or your first order, or bet on your future, or told you how good you could really be?
Who cheered you on when you were winning, or cheered you up when you were down? Who stuck around when everyone else had already gone home. Who thought of you when everyone else was thinking of themselves?
Through the years these people—all of them—have meant the world to you at one time or another. This Thanksgiving a genuine hand-written note or a call from you—out of the blue—would mean the world to them.
Happy Thanksgiving one and all!
• Gratitude is only meaningful if it’s expressed.
• A sincere call or a hand-written note from you can be priceless.
• Tomorrow is promised to no one. Today is always the best day to show your thanks.