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Come to grips with gratitude

Faith Focus for the Week

A good steward remembers that the words "thank you" really are magic words.

Come to grips with gratitude

There once was a businessman who enjoyed great success. His work demanded much of him. He worked long hours and many weekends. Yet the man had a sense of charity. Strapped for time, he regularly contributed cash to various causes. Each year, the businessman donated money to his parish, his archdiocese, a local soup kitchen, a gathering place for homeless families, an animal shelter, an art museum and an overseas hunger-relief program.

Each year, most of the organizations acknowledged the man’s financial gifts. With each card, letter or note of thanks, the man felt a sense of fulfillment. But he noticed that certain charities did not acknowledge his generosity.

The man felt disappointed and examined his heart to see why. It wasn’t, he discerned, that he had made the gifts so that he would be thanked. Yet he knew that an organization that didn’t take time to say “thank you” to donors might not have their priorities in order. And so the man decided to eliminate those charities from his list. He redirected the funds to the organizations that remembered to say thanks.

But there was more to the man’s enlightenment. He realized that he was guilty of the same neglect that had disturbed him. Most of the time, he failed to demonstrate gratitude to his loyal, hard-working employees. Oftentimes, he realized, he didn’t say “thank you” to servers in restaurants, cashiers in shops, taxi drivers or even family and friends.

The man resolved to ex-press gratitude more regularly. And what he came to know was that saying “thank you” not only made the other person smile; the words made him feel better, too.

The good steward remembers that the words “thank you” really are magic words.

This article comes to you from Our Sunday Visitor courtesy of your parish or diocese.


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