Maybe this year, instead of distilling this beautiful life into shooters of thankfulness for daily Facebook consumption, what if we actually share our gratitude, not just our descriptions and defense of it?
Maybe we can honor the people and situations in our lives in a way that brings no recognition to ourselves. There is no harm in receiving a pat on the back or an “atta girl!” for recognizing that we have so much to be thankful for – but does the search of those things not tarnish the sincerity of our thanks?
Does my friend in Alberta appreciate knowing how much I appreciate my barista in Raleigh? Can my former co-worker in Iowa feel the blessing of my love for family, near and far? I suspect that it is only I, the common denominator – who benefits from the daily chore of social media displays.
Every person I know wakes up each morning and stares down one demon or another. And sometimes, we all blink. But what if, starting now, we also face everything that is good and is light? Let’s look the person or situation squarely in the eye and say, “I see you, and I thank you.” And then, we stay still without squirming long enough to give back – whatever it is we have to give. An ear, a cup of tea, lunch, or a lifetime of companionship.
I’m betting that in the absence of recognition or praise for merely stating our gratitude, we will find the real meaning of gratitude. And I’m betting we all have people who will be thankful we did.