We have gotten a cavalcade of questions but I wanted to take a moment and say, "Thank you." Thanks for reading, writing in, answering each other's questions sometimes more quickly and succinctly that I ever could. And thanks for being understanding when I don't keep up as well as I should.
When I was a young teenager I had a nun who was our theology teacher. This was at an all girl Catholic school. She never taught what you might think of when you think of "theology"--the study of God. There was no catechism, that was all in grade school. There was no Bible reading or study of the New Testament. We actually did a lot of that in grade school, too.
But she did give massive week long assignments. Assignments that actually took an entire week to complete. Two of them have stayed with me, and one, in particular, has been rather a lifelong assignment.
For one week we had to thank everyone for everything, no matter how large or small, no matter who it was. We were to be relentless and diligent. She must have been surprised at the end of the class when no one thanked her for giving out the assignment. That would have right in the spirit of the thing.
But I loved theology and all its many thoughts and prayers and meanings, and I was always game to take on a challenge. No big deal, to thank people constantly. Maybe a little silly. Who really needs to be thanked all the time, anyhow? I really don't.
Off I went. I really didn't realize how many people actually were doing things for me all the time. I'm not sure I really covered everyone and everything. I certainly hadn't thanked her for the assignment. Nonetheless, I was extremely busy all week thanking people. It was eye opening and thought provoking.
And it felt really good.
You know, at first, you might not really mean it. You say, "thanks" but you don't actually feel any gratitude. But it sneaks up on you. By the end of the week I was very grateful for the people in my life and all the things they did for me. It made me want to do more for them.
And I still do it. Once I started, I never stopped. It's as automatic to me as a smile or a hand shake can be. But not so automatic that I don't actually feel the gratitude.
So, I'm passing it off to you. Try it. Have your kids try it. One week.