Lynn’s Spin: The Gift of Gratitude

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gratitudeThere’s a great quote by one of America’s most prolific and quoted writers, William Arthur Ward: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

I like this quote for a number of reasons, not the least of which is how it reminds me of the many things for which I am grateful but am sometimes so rushed or distracted that I don’t express thanks and then later wish I had taken just the few seconds it takes.

For example, I wish I had the chance to thank the valet who took the time to put on the heat in my car on a chilly night. Or the man who grabbed an errant shopping cart before it hit the side of my car. Or the person that let me over on the freeway when I spaced out and almost missed my transition.

These small gestures mean a lot when one considers what it would be like had they not taken the time and trouble to do something nice.

Each year at Thanksgiving, before diving in to our feast, we say Grace and go around the table and say out loud the things we are grateful for. Each year someone surprises me by mentioning something I didn’t know. And like the quote by Ward, it’s like a little gift that has been given to all of us at the table.

By publicly acknowledging gratitude, we expose those things we hold dear, things we might be afraid to lose or forget or take for granted. We let others know their actions make a difference.

One thing for which I am always grateful is when an Indy reader takes the time to let me know they enjoy reading my columns. I usually make a joke like “well, at least I know I have one reader out there” but the fact is, I really appreciate it when someone takes the time to let me know they read the Indy and how much they appreciate having a community paper “for locals by locals.”

The truth is, I have loved every minute of the past three and a half years of writing this column and I am grateful for the sense of satisfaction it allows me. I am grateful to be doing something creative, and fulfilling my lifelong dream of being a writer. I am grateful for each and every person who encourages me by letting me know they enjoy reading what I have to say.

Lest I sound like I am fishing for compliments, let me clarify that I am just as grateful for each and every person who reads that I don’t hear from, I’m simply saying that it’s the icing on the cake when I do – it always makes my day.

Though I am penning this prior to Thanksgiving, I know there’s one thing I will add when it’s my turn at sharing that for which I am grateful – and that’s to acknowledge all our readers. Without you, I might have a lot less on my plate of gratitude.

Thank you.

Grateful columnist Lynn Selich resides in Newport Beach. Reach her at [email protected]

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