An open door, a simple act of selflessness, allowing a car through in traffic, letting someone go ahead of you in a coffee shop, a glass of water, a generous smile, the smallest gestures of consideration often times go un-noticed. As I child I was often told to do things for others with gracious service and compassion never expecting anything in return, constantly contemplating the allowance to feel upset if I didn’t receive a thank you. Just as there is a power in giving, there is a greater power in thank you. Within those words resonates a vibration that exudes gratitude, so infectious that it changes our metabolism and cellular biochemistry; it gives us the drive to want to do more. There is a difference between recognition and praise; it’s an intricate thin line. The first gives us the fuel to do more and the latter benefits on a superficial level, and although praise is a great motivator it is married to the ego, which has a tendency to create a wanderlust and insatiable yearning for more.
I remember being seven years old and helping my neighbor carry her groceries into her apartment. I will never forget the way she looked at me, with the largest genuine smile I have ever seen, the kind that lit up her eyes and inspired her to give me the present of a warm hug. For myself, this is ‘thank you’, that is what motivates me to continuously serve others, for that energy she exuded and that smile. Oh that smile, still etched in my memory, it filled me up with so much sunshine that if I had challenged the sun that day I could have sworn I was a tad bit brighter.
People forget the importance of verbal gratitude. It can be life altering, a simple thank you, a recognition for someone can signify the means to move forward in life. It can be a sign that they have asked for to see if they are in the right direction and it gives them the opportunity to be filled to the brim in sunshine, even on the most dismal day. Do I have my rose colored glasses on again in what can be a sometimes unappreciative and grouchy world? Absolutely. After all, in essence we are all responsible for our own personal happiness and how we see the world around us.
Every single being on this planet is distinctive, we may share the same color, language, interests, demeanors, professions, friends, or are different for those varying reasons but our core remains the same, it speaks the same ubiquitous dialect which is benevolence. No matter what superficial amour we have a tendency to subconsciously adorn ourselves with, there comes a point where we all want to draw in and release a hefty breath of compassion. For myself it is innate and similar to an eternal burning fire. No matter how much water and sand you throw in, it still blazes.
When we acknowledge the kindness bestowed upon us by those that are in our lives, even for a fleeting moment in time we have created something in the atmosphere, it’s subtle and unseen like many of life’s greatest conundrums, but without a doubt it is there, we can all feel it. Is there a name for it? Perhaps too many to limit it to just one, but it embraces us like a magic wrapping of wind. It is a combination of the greatest emotions juxtaposed into one grand feeling. A whirlwind that wreaks havoc like a tornado filled with letters spiralling and forming words such as compassion, grace, selflessness, positivity, humility, intellect, empathy and eventually fueled by corresponding emotions giving it turbine power. Then, after the calm, silence rings profound and all we can hear is thank you, all we can feel is gratitude.