Publisher’s Letter: Gratitude — Make It Real!

By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

Fast approaching that “Thanksgiving time of year” it can be argued that a majority of the people living in our country have so much for which to be grateful.

For those of us lucky enough to have been born into families of modest-to-moderate means, gratitude may seem an elusive concept. Familiarity with life conditions such as adequate housing, food, family, medical care, and perhaps even a career we enjoy, may make it easy to experience all this favor as just the way of life.

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And those of us who have never visited third world countries or spent time with less fortunate people on these shores, may think that every privilege they enjoy was solely due to their own hard work — but they’d be mistaken.

Multitudes of people have been born into moderate to very favorable circumstances, a happy condition that their own efforts had nothing to do with. Approached from this more humble insight, you can take small steps to make this Thanksgiving more meaningful than perhaps it’s ever been for you or your family.

With an actual piece of paper, take a moment to list the circumstances and people for which you are especially grateful. If you do this quickly, (without over-thinking it) I guarantee you’ll be surprised as to who and what shows up on that list.

Perhaps a teacher advised that you had a gift in an area of study. Perhaps an aunt or uncle took you on a short excursion for some one-on-one time. Perhaps a sibling has always been your hero. It may be a small gesture or a person who has been there for you consistently. The list of possibilities of people who have done right by you may be endless.

But this year pick just one (or two if you’re especially ambitious to make a difference in the life of two of your benefactors). On your list, next to the person’s name, indicate what they did for you that made a difference in your life.

Write them a hard copy thank you note and mail it!

You needn’t to be Wordsworth or Shakespeare to express an easy concept such as:

Date

Dear _______,

At this Thanksgiving I thought about the people and experiences for which I am most grateful and I thought of you. I want to thank you for _____________ (believing in me, encouraging me, fill in the blank).

Thinking of you,

(your name)

In our fast-paced culture, “thank you” said or written with meaning, is too often absent. Teach your children this simple method of acknowledging significant people in their life. Going forward, they will then have the rare skill of recognizing and cultivating mentors who may provide exceptional assistance along the way.

Through this simple process make gratitude real and we guarantee your Thanksgiving will have greater meaning than it’s had in years.

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Blaine Howerton