A Lesson in Appreciation

Around Thanksgiving each year, teachers invariably urge students to talk and write about what they are Thankful for. (Insert groan here if you remember this exercise.)

This is not an easy task for child nor adult. So, it’s with utter amazement and heart-melting admiration that I learned this year about one 10-year-old child’s poignant expression of gratitude before his class this Thanksgiving.

When asked by his teacher to share what he appreciates, this kid thought and thought. Finally, he told classmates how he really is grateful for how his mom pours milk on his breakfast cereal every day.

What sounded trivial to him turned into a lengthy classroom discussion about how the little things we do for each other daily really add up to make a big difference. And his simple expression of Thanks became not so little anymore.

The simple truth is that small good things we do in our homes, communities and, yes, workplaces, every day add up in ways we probably don’t realize.

Another truth: Thanks is a powerful tool that pays big dividends when shared. It needn’t be a big gesture, either. (Even though I’m sure things like Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day marked this week in Wisconsin is nice, so is a well-worded note.)

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from all of us at gThankYou.

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