What Is the Cost?

It need not be a grandiose gesture or gift which requires a word or note of appreciation. A simple kindness can be as cherished and with such value as an expensive gift. Why then are so many acts “expected” or “taken for granted?” Some of my most treasured gifts of thoughtfulness were those I never expected. Gustavo Razzetti, “life doesn’t owe you anything. Appreciation means stop taking everything for granted.”

For the past eight years I have spent holidays, birthdays and special events alone. A little past 7:00 a.m. on my birthday in 2019, the doorbell rang. I was perplexed as I was new to the area, residing in a small rental house away from all which was familiar. I had a few acquaintances, but no friends. When I opened the door, it was joy beyond measure. Someone I had met in church only a few months prior knew it was my birthday. She realized, I would be spending it alone and wanted me to know she was thinking of me.

She drove over 40 miles round trip to tell me she cared.  That single act of kindness has brought me smiles and exultation for over a year. It will last for years to come. Someone went out of their way to let me know I mattered. I was overjoyed to send my gratitude for such a magnificent act of benevolence.

As Peter Bregman cites, “saying “thank you” is mostly an emotional act. It connects one person to another. Saying “thank you” doesn’t just acknowledge someone’s effort, thoughtfulness, intent or action. It acknowledges the person himself.”

The person that chooses to disregard the kindness granted them by another, is indirectly saying “I have far greater value than you. You don’t deserve to be thanked.” Mr. Bergman also notes, “it doesn’t take long to say, “thank you”, but it does take caring.” I can’t agree more. If someone cared enough to proffer a kindness, the recipient should care enough to return a “thank you.”

Years ago, a relative informed me that I spend more time and money on a thank you note and stamp than was spent on the actual gift. Additionally, she informed me, she was taught you don’t have to offer a “thank you” to family. How the words of my mother-in-law, Alta echoed in my mind and heart when I heard that.  Alta noted, she didn’t believe in having things “only for guests”, as her family was more significant than any guest in her home.

Her words from over fifty years ago were imprinted on my heart and mind. Why then if we could thank others for kindheartedness toward us, would we not give our family the same courtesy? I agree there have been times the cost of the note and postage were greater than the gift. However, I have always believed when anyone does something “from their heart” it is a gift whose value is incalculable.

I Thess. 5:18 NKJ “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God…” TO BE CONTINUED!

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