Living the ThankList Life

Gratitude is not just a choice, it’s a commandment
Living the ThankList Life
Image: The Shopping Sherpa / Flickr

The political race has already begun. Racial tensions are still simmering. Tragedies occur every single day. But today, two words broke through all of this gray: thank you.

Two words cut me to my quick and brought me to my knees: thank you.

Two words remind me of where I’ve come from and how I got here: thank you.

In a country where 95 percent of people think we have a civility problem, it encourages me that 87 percent of them are willing to change the status quo.

Why not start today—with two little words? Thank you.

The ThankList, initiated by American Greetings, is a way to pay homage to those who came before you or are currently running alongside you. It’s a way to take just a few minutes out of your day to acknowledge the positive impact that one life can have on another.

While a simple thank you might not be the remedy for a rude world, it certainly does provide hope for a broken one.

This campaign was inspired by a recent documentary series produced by the two-time Academy Award-winning Barbara Kopple and American Greetings. Kopple follows around real people as they seek to personally thank each person on their lists. The emotional responses from all the participants in this series highlight the important truth that the ThankList is hoping to pass on: a simple thank you can be a renewing, life-changing experience for the giver and recipient alike.

This idea of gratitude resonates through Scripture. The Samaritan leper’s gratitude came as a simple shout of praise. David’s thankfulness permeated his life and writings of the psalms. And Mary’s gratitude? It came in the form of expensive oils and a humble act of service as she sat at the feet of Jesus just days before his crucifixion. What many would consider a bold, futile sacrifice, she considered a response of praise and thanks.

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Joy Beth Smith

Joy Beth Smith is the assistant editor for Today's Christian Woman. You can follow her on Twitter at @JBsTwoCents or Instagram at @jbstwocents or on her website

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