Grateful Action

Every morning, before getting out of bed, we should turn on the light switch of thankfulness to God.

We can be thankful for the strengths and capabilities He has given us and to hold them with care and a sense of responsibility.  During the day we recognize the goodness of the air, sunshine, the way certain things function well (when the train runs on time), and even the man handing out free Metro newspapers at Batthany ter.  It is good for us to notice the good deeds of others, the acts of service and the caring, warnings, and advice of others.  Be thankful for the neighbor who lets you know that there are really good tomatoes at the market today.  Be thankful for the man who lets you know that your are about to park in a no-parking zone.  We take so many good things for granted.  There are still many things to notice and for which to be thankful.

Recognizing these things doesn’t require a sense of astonishment but only a quiet gratefulness.

It is good to appropriately show gratefulness and to be specific with words and actions.   In gratefulness, do the good deed when there is opportunity to do so.  Let gratitude cause you to address others with kindness, to encourage, to physically move toward and help others, to advise, to teach, to warn, to lighten the burdens of those around you, and to be polite.  Practice and develop a life of grateful action.

Practice observing what others like and need and contribute in ways you are able.  Make phone calls.  Write letters.  Send cards.  Host a dinner.  Tell others when there are good tomatoes at the market.  Ask others about their life, their family and their health.  Let all of this flow from a heart of thanks.

By saying “thank you,” we strengthen others.  If we aren’t fulfilling this basic need of gratefulness to those who are most generous to us, chances are that we are not growing, developing, or thinking beyond ourselves.  Normal, thankful words and actions are not exhausting.  Rather, it is liberating to offer a proper, normal, healthy way of living as an expression of thankfulness and as a gift to God.