It’s so easy to be thankful. Waking up in the morning is enough to fill our hearts with thanks…for life…for love…for a place to live…for daffodils. Then there are the everyday things for which we give thanks. Thanks for taking out the garbage. Thanks for washing the dishes. Thanks for remembering my birthday.
The older I get the more I find myself expressing my thankfulness. Thanks for smiling and laughing out loud, it brings such joy into the world.
It’s also easy to receive thanks. I love to hear “Thank you” for taking out the garbage or doing the dishes (on those seldom occasions).
I’m not as good at receiving expressions of appreciation for the big things I do. I have a strange need to undermine my work and deflect attention away. Maybe it was my mother who taught us that pride was not just wrong but it was the worst of all moral failings. Or maybe it was the church that buried any exceptionalness of women under the accomplishments of men (other than our ability to cook and the like). Or maybe it’s my whiteness and having worked in First Nations all my life it’s never been my place to call attention to my work.
Whatever it is I find accepting big expressions of appreciation much harder to receive than to give. But I’m embracing this one. Here’s the story.
I’ve been working with the most amazing team—five First Nations people from around the province (Doug Harris, Niki Lindstrom, Marilyn Johnny, Bev Smith and Mona Bill) on an engagement project—talking about the upcoming changes in housing and infrastructure in First Nations. After almost a year I’m passing the project along to someone else and moving on.
The team showed me huge appreciation…an Orca drum, a shawl and words and words and words of gratitude. I felt it and I thank them back.
Thank you for thanking me.