Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Yes, I know the traditional time to talk about giving thanks is at the end of November, but it's a good idea to express gratitude all year long.
A few weeks ago I was crossing a street where work was being done and traffic was only allowed through in one direction at a time. Since there was a break in the traffic I thanked the woman who was directing it and she was amazed. She said a few minutes earlier someone had called her a name which I won't repeat here because she'd made them wait.
Once a lot of work was being done on a street in front of a house where I used to live because wires were being moved under ground and some repairs were needed. Every few days a crew from a utility company would dig up the street, work in the hole for a while, and fill it in until the next crew came out to work on it, usually a few days later.
The work had been going on for weeks when I called the city public works department to ask if they knew when it would all be completed. After getting the estimated date I mentioned that I appreciated the landscaping they had done a few blocks away.
There was a moment of silence. Then, with a choked voice the man told me that was the only expression of gratitude he had ever gotten. Usually he just had to listen to complaints all day long.
Both those people were thankful for my thanks and reminded me how important it is to express gratitude to those who serve us even if that service is sometimes an inconvenience. The mail carrier who brings bills, the cashier who takes extra time helping a customer in line, the police officer who gives a ticket, and those who repair our streets and utilities are not only doing their jobs. In a small way they're helping to make the world a better place.
Please join me in thanking them and all the others who deserve our gratitude.