Early last week I’d written my financial adviser with a question. Joe wrote back and what I noted particularly was the quotation he apparently uses on all correspondence with clients:
“Nothing can stand up to gratitude. There’s no negative emotion—not fear, not self-doubt, not sadness, and certainly not anger—that can survive exposure to the radiance of gratitude.” Nick Murray
I liked his selection of a quote, and told him so. In fact, I replied with a TED talk on the very topic which I first saw in 2011 and have referenced ever since. It is worth your 10 minutes, here. Joe responded almost immediately: “I really enjoyed the TED talk. Thank you.”
Note: Joe’s business is money. The stereotype for money men might be different. I know Joe, not well. But what I know of him is consistent with his choice of quotation.
I had planned a “Gratitude” post before I’d written to Joe, so his letter was just positive reinforcement.
My plan was to emphasize the positive turn – at least for us, now – on Covid-19. This morning I went to my coffee shop to clarify my thinking on the topic, and started a list of positive things this week, for which I could be grateful. I got to 19 specifics. So much for making a list of good things. “Lots” suffices. Joe’s letter simply jogged me to actively think of those positives, rather than the “stinking thinking” so easy to descend into.
On my “gratitude list” was Melvin, who I’d met on Friday. Melvin is a long-time good friend, well known locally – the ‘peace bubble guy’ – most recently on a wonderful TV ad spot seeking organ donors.
Greeting me this day at Caribou was Julie, an older server who I hadn’t seen for the entire year of Covid-19.
It was a pleasant surprise for both of us. She said she worked only infrequently at the coffee shop; her full-time job was elsewhere. It was great to see her.
In between, many other mostly small but very significant demonstrations of the positives in my community…and in yours as well.
As I found out, you may have to consciously think about them, but they’re there. Check out the Gratitude video (even if you’ve seen it before). Another suggestion was a film we saw on Netflix last night, “Cuba and the Cameraman”, a documentary which doesn’t sugarcoat but brings local life of real people into focus. I found it uplifting and inspirational.
May your today “really be a great day” (David Steindl-Rast).
Yes, there are very important issues. But take time for Gratitude, too.
COMMENTS (more at end of post)
from Judy: as usual a profound communication. Thank you.
from Mark: Thanks for the shout out to “checking the box” – one of my top passions.
from Annelee: Dick, thanks for today’s blog, it made me reflect. Believe me I am grateful and I thank God every morning and night. My reflection got rather long, well I am living a long time, right?
In my nine decades of life there were hills and valleys. I tried to walk and cope with the valleys, but I always was grateful for the many hills that life gave me.
I am grateful for how blessed I was to be born to parents who loved me and by example taught me right from wrong.
Am grateful because I survived WWII when throughout the world lives were taken long before their time.
I am grateful for living in the best country in the world, married for half a century to a man who became my partner; my friend. I am grateful for our children and the life-long friendships that brightened and still brighten my days.
I am grateful for 22 years I was given the privilege of teaching and sharing in the struggles and successes of my students.
Now as I am nearing 95, I am most grateful for my extended family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
I am grateful that I live in a community where I feel safe, have friends and neighbors who tend to my needs and help me to keep my balance
On good days, which are the majority, I am grateful or good health, on others I am grateful that my back or age-pain isn’t as bad as it was the day before.
Dick, dear friend, I am grateful that you made me aware how truly blessed I am.
from DJ: I’ve been focused on gratitude / random acts of kindness for yrs. I have a dailygrateful prayer time. I have realistic gratitude and not irresponsible gratitude.
from: Sandy: Thanks Dick for your words of wisdom as always and I am so grateful for you and your family and I am just writing to you rather than out on your blog post but thanks for all that you do and the great words of wisdom that you seem to bring forward to the world