Having a Spirit of Gratitude

by Ken Mueller on November 13, 2012 · 31 comments

white 15 Having a Spirit of GratitudeSend to Kindle

7137096221 001c3e4b87 m Having a Spirit of Gratitude

Yesterday as I was working, a message popped up on my G-chat. It was a friend who I’ve only met in person once or twice, but what she said took me by surprise. A pleasant surprise:

So I have to tell you that I absolutely love your blog. That is pretty much it.

She then went on to tell me:

(My business partner) and I read your posts and always end up sending them to each other with the comment: “THIS”, because it’s always on point. But the message is clear: we like what you do.
Can you say, “day made”?

 

After getting this message, another friend sent me a message of encouragement:
I appreciate the difficulty of writing and putting yourself out there professionally. You are very good at what you do.
Again, this  put a big smile on my face.

 

And just last week I got a card in the mail from a local friend. Inside were free tickets to an event, with a note that said:
You do so much to help people, I thought I’d do something for you. thanks for giving our community so much.
Now please understand, I don’t relate these things to brag or pat myself on the back. This sort of thing is extremely rare. I certainly can’t remember the last time someone randomly told me something like this. And I honestly don’t feel as though I deserve this sort of thanks. But to hear this a few times in the course of a week is incredibly encouraging. And since all of them were related to my work, and what I do online, it was a validation of sorts, and it lets me know I’m headed in the right direction.

 

I think the powers that be knew what they were doing when they scheduled the election so close to Thanksgiving. After weeks, or months even, of negativity and hate, the election is over, and now my Facebook stream is filled with people talking about the things for which they are thankful: jobs, family, friends, and so on. Some are making a daily practice of posting their thankfulness this month.

 

Shortly after receiving these messages I saw a friend post a status update. It simply said:

 

Feeling especially thankful this evening.
No commentary. No reason. Just: thankful. I’m sure this person had a very specific reason for posting that, but kept it to themselves. I then thought about this individual and realized that their updates, on a regular basis, are calming. Sensible. Filled with thanks. I’ve noticed this and commented on it before, but last night I felt compelled to send a private message thanking them for just being who they are.

 

Remember how I said I don’t often get those kinds of comments? Well, I also don’t often give those types of comments. And that’s a shame. Yes, I guess it’s kind of trite to focus on thanks around Thanksgiving, because it’s the easy thing to do; it’s what’s expected of us.

 

But it got me thinking. I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m not going to list them here, but I think about the people who have come into my life at just the right time.

 

But this past week, several people went out of their way to encourage me. I appreciated that. Greatly. And it put me in a more grateful mindset, so I passed it on to another friend.

 

As we approach Thanksgiving, I encourage you to do the same. Feel free to post your feelings of thankfulness online, but also take the time to privately encourage those who inspire you. I’m betting that none of us gets too much encouragement. Maybe we’ll even get in the habit of doing this, with friends, family, businesses, and so on.

 

Who do you need to encourage by telling them how thankful you are for them?

 

 

 

 Having a Spirit of Gratitude
Buffer
28 comments
lauraclick
lauraclick

Such an important reminder. I've been reading all of the "thankful for" notes on Facebook and wondered why don't we TELL people we are thankful for them instead of listing things on a social network. It's important that we let the people around us know how much we appreciate them - you never know what kind of impact that it can make.

geoffliving
geoffliving

Keep those notes, my man!  They make the darkest hours worth it, those times when you think it's all for naught.  Congrats!

barrettrossie
barrettrossie

I for one appreciate your daily effort. It is quite amazing. :)

(Uh, edited to add: "I for one" should read "I'm one of many who...)

Shelley Pringle
Shelley Pringle

Nice! You remind me I was telling a friend about your blog just yesterday. I am trying to find a way to use video on my own blog and I was telling her about some of your videos from last year--one in particular where you were knitting with your daughter. It really entertained me and stuck with me. Of course, that approach won't work for me and I'm still on the hunt for something that fits with my personality.

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

Great post Ken, and well deserved thanks should be coming your way, you do a great job with your blog. It's true what they say about gratitude being infectious - when you give it really does encourage others to do the same and for the right reasons. 

The key seems to be maintaining this spirit year round, and not just around this time of year. Sort of like taking a vested interest in our political system every day instead of once every four years.

paigeworthy
paigeworthy

Love this post — isn't it amazing how those little things can make our days and remind us that there are people out there who care? Kudos to you.

emilykantner
emilykantner

What a great reminder! I too appreciate the insight you provide and read your blog daily. It's amazing how a small gesture can mean so much and brighten someone's day

Erin F.
Erin F.

Kind, encouraging words are such welcome things. We never know what a blessing they can be, so we should share them more often. I know people have sent them to me at just the right moment. 

amberdegrace
amberdegrace

Great post and so true - we would see the difference as a community and society if we took more time to be thoughtful and thank others. Praise is good for the giver and receiver. 

joel1
joel1

Nice Ken - I enjoyed reading this - good and interesting observations.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@barrettrossie Thanks, Barrett, I really appreciate that. Not sure it's amazing...some might say I'm crazy!

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@jasonkonopinski It really is easy to forget, so little words of affirmation can certainly make a big difference. None of us wants to feel we're writing into the void. We can measure traffic, and comments, but it's the offline comments that really mean the most.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@Shelley Pringle Ha. I'd like to forget some of those videos. They were fun while they lasted, and a nice little experiment, but didn't really get the traction I wanted, which is why I haven't done one in awhile. Though, I might bring them back from time to time...perhaps with my daughter.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@John_Trader1 Thanks, John, I appreciate that. I just want to keep plugging away and hopefully continue to promote positivity as opposed to negativity.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@paigeworthy It really is, Paige. Little things like that can even turn a bad day around.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@emilykantner Thanks, Emily. And we still need to get together some time and grab some coffee and conversation!

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@Erin F. Most definitely. I think that often we use social media more for complaining, that we forget to do the nice things.

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

@amberdegrace Thanks, Amber, and as you know, I appreciate the contributions you make to my community!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Although that’s a good idea, I would challenge you to thank PEOPLE instead. [...]

  2. [...] Having a Spirit of Gratitude (inklingmedia.net) [...]

Previous post:

Next post: