What are ways we show our appreciation for what others do for us; whether it be remembering our birthdays with a gift or running an errand for us when we are too busy or a kind invitation to share a pastry and a cup of coffee? Is it really necessary to demonstrate gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness or is it an "out-dated" gesture reserved for the formality of weddings and graduations? Many would argue that with the advent of e-mail, facebook, and twitter the pen and paper response is archaic and a waste of one's time and cost of a stamp. I heartily disagree! In fact, this is an area in which I feel, as a mother, I failed to educate my children. Yet my daughter, despite my oversight, sees the importance of training her boys to say "thank-you" for what they receive. As I watch Christian (4 1/2) and Logan (3) draw pictures and add stickers to their creations and attempt to write their names on cards to be sent to grandparents, friends, and other relatives I am reminded of the importance of acknowledging other's acts of kindness. Now these two little guys would rather play computer games or ride their bikes, BUT mom reminds them of their responsibility to show kindness in return for kindness shown to them-what a valuable life-lesson! Yes, it takes time to write, address, and mail a thank-you card but what better way to use one's time than for the service of other's happiness! And who does not like getting a thank-you card, knowing that someone cares for you and expended effort to show it in a tangible way. As a parent, teach your children the value of showing appreciation! As a friend, get out that pen and paper and write a note to say thank-you to someone today.
There is a Bible verse in Philippians 2:3-4 which says: "in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others."
Use this verse as a benchmark in your dealings with people in your life. In so doing you will mirror Jesus Christ.