Thank You for reading this. I hope it’s meaningful.

I was not reared up as a thank-you person. In other words we didn’t say it on a routine basis as a habit growing up. I don’t remember it being said in our home, in my grandparent’s home nor the homes of my relatives. I don’t know why. We just did what we did and everyone went about their business as usual and expected others to do the same.

Nowadays I hear a lot of thank yous. When I’m wearing my veteran hat, as I usually do, I get folks thanking me for my service and sometimes they come up to me and shake my hand. In the military service itself, both active and reserves, it has become a custom to thank the troops at the end of their tours of duty, often via letters of appreciation. When military people retire, they are afforded a retirement ceremony in honor of their service.

I think it’s good to thank people for things – for jobs well done, for doing a good turn, and simply for being a friend. I’m not sure that it should become a constant thing where it’s overdone so as to lose its heartfelt meaning but I do think it’s important to verbalize one’s appreciation for others. Sometimes it’s not done enough, especially when we recognize that someone has done so much for so many and hasn’t been recognized for doing so.

Every year during the Thanksgiving season we are reminded of the art of being thankful. There are some instances in the scriptures concerning a lifestyle of being thankful, notably the time when Jesus ministered to 10 sick people but only one returned to to thank Him. (Luke 17:11 – 19). I supposed the others just took it for granted.

My life has become much more meaningful since I’ve learned and practiced being thankful for others, especially those who are just doing their job. After a funeral last week we were at the interment ceremony at the cemetery where full military honors were performed. There were seven very young enlistment men and two NCOs who drove all the way down from Ft. Stewart, Georgia in a crowded van to do the honors. I made it a point afterwards to walk over the the van, shake the hand of the two NCOs and thank them. The others were already in the van so I opened the door and said, “I know that some people feel that they are just doing a job, just doing their duty, but I want you to know that what you did today was very important and that the family and friends of the deceased are highly appreciative of who you are and what you did for their loved one today.” I thanked them and wished them well on their trip back.

Brighten someone’s life today by thanking them, for who they are and what they do.