What is your latest accomplishment? Who helped you achieve it? Who recommended you?
Who taught you the skills? Who encouraged you? Who opened your eyes to the possibilities?
Who opposed you and caused you to work harder? Who told you that you couldn’t do it? Who was your competition?
Choose one of these to whom you are indebted and write her or him a thank-you note. Call her or him on the telephone or send an e-mail message. Do it now while you are thinking about it.
She or he may no longer be alive to receive your thoughtfulness; however, he or she may have a living spouse, son or daughter. It would do her or him a world of good to know of your gratitude. There is never a wrong time to do the right thing.
No matter how high we have climbed the ladder of success, we did not climb it alone. Someone was steadying the ladder, holding our hand or sparking our vision. Gratitude is never out of season.
“Say Something Nice Day” on June 1 or “Say Something Nice Sunday” on June 2 offers us a golden opportunity to acknowledge all of those who have boosted us along the way. All that is required is a simple thank-you.
It need not be elaborate. You don’t need special stationery or fancy writing instruments. Just recognize the gifts that the person bestowed on you.
Tom McKibbens, pastor of First Baptist Church of Worcester, Mass., says, “You and I are blessed people, and it is important that you and I realize that we are blessed.”
My friend, Gus, e-mails a classical music suggestion to a shut-in friend every day. He includes me in the e-mails. What a wonderful gesture and service.
Joan, a college friend, first suggested that I submit a proposal to the Special Studies Program at the Chautauqua Institution – a suggestion that led to many wonderful experiences and marvelous new friends.
Jim suggested that I would like teaching in the graduate program at Webster University, and Sara Lowery, a professor at Furman University, suggested that I visit the Greenville, S.C., Hearing and Speech Center, which led to a lifetime career.
Cliff Harrison, a neighbor when I was a young boy, first called my attention to my careless speech habits. “Mitch, you don’t have to talk that way.” I will be grateful to him for as long as I live. He cared enough to risk offending me. I knew he cared about me.
Ansel McGill, a now retired minister, introduced me to classical music. His gift has lasted a lifetime.
My friend, Sally, gives me Daily Guideposts every year as a Christmas present. She blesses my life 365 days a year.
Our lives are made up of thousands of relationships. Some are long term and others are fleeting. How we interact in those relationships ensures their success or failure.
Each interaction is important. No matter how brief, each leaves an imprint.
Gratitude plays a major role in how rewarding our relationships become. If we only take and never give back, those relationships become unrewarding and eventually erode.
It is so easy to lift another person’s spirit. Perhaps that is why we are so likely to let those kind words go unspoken. We often think them, but let the opportunity pass.
Let others know that they are important to you.
Arthur Caliandro, retired pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, said, “Always show more kindness than you think is necessary because the receiver needs it more than you know.”
Be gracious in all circumstances. Say an uplifting remark to everyone you meet.
Mitch Carnell is a member of First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina. He is the author of “Our Father: Discovering Family.” His writings can also be found at MitchCarnell.com.