Unexpected Gratitude, or Maybe Just Common Courtesy

Towards the end of last year I helped set up an automated system for people who wanted to help out at one of the Greek Islands where the refugees land. Occasionally, the system breaks down a little and I receive an email asking for access to a particular  online document.  And so it was that I received one such request one grumpy day a few weeks ago. I almost made the person wait half an hour on principle. But instead I pressed the little button and off it went. End of story.

Except it wasn’t.  Ten minutes later I got another message. One word: “thanks”. One word that turned a grumpy day into a not so grumpy day. Noticeable because it was the first time in about 50 such interactions that somebody bothered to say thanks. You might tell me that the person was just being polite but I don’t care. I just appreciate that somebody took the time to realise there’s a person behind the email address.

That is a little something to add to the Gratitude Lessons – the idea that there is more than what is immediately obvious. There’s a struggle behind the smile, that this life that I live is not just because of me. This life is not just mine to live.

And just like that somebody sent a ripple of appreciation and a teeny tiny smile through my day by a simple act of courtesy and acknowledgement, I can send unintended ripples of goodwill by my gratitude for the actions of others.

Ripples of gratitude. That should be a thing.


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