I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. It seems such an ephemeral thing, in reality, so vague because its meaning and depth of feeling varies with the individual and the occasion.
We say “thank you” at the least provocation — to a waiter serving the food for which we’ll pay, to a person holding a door open for us, to someone complimenting us on something we say, wear or do. Do those words indicate our gratitude? Probably not, for most of us. They are the automatic, polite responses we have been taught are our obligations to one another in a civilized society. Pleasant to give and receive, they don’t really carry or convey any true emotion, although they do help nurture the bonds of society.
Some of us try to go further to strengthen the words and give them more meaning by looking intently into the eyes of the recipient while we say them. Others append a qualifying word or phrase — “really,” “so much,” “from the bottom of my heart.” Now we’re getting closer to expressing true gratitude. For the majority of us, that probably suffices. But it is possible to go further in telling others how we feel about having them in our lives or about what they have done or plan to do for us.
How much more we communicate when we look at someone directly and say, “I want to tell you how grateful I am to you for … .” And then follow up with a description of what it is we’re grateful for and what it did for us emotionally, physically or spiritually.
Which brings me to what I want to say about where I am in my life.
I am so thankful to be living in such a beautiful state in such a wonderful community so full of loving, caring and compassionate people. I’m grateful to you, people of Homer, for being who you are and doing what you do to try to help those who are in need of your strength, caring and support. This is such a great community to live in and I am so grateful to be here and having you all as neighbors.
Thank you, so very, very much,