Expressing my gratitude for gratitude

“Saying thank you is more than good manners.  It is good spirituality.”

~ Alfred Painter

Nothing feels so good as another’s gratitude for a job well done.

I have presented “The ABCs of Photo Organizing” at northern Illinois libraries and 55+ communities 33 times in the past six months, and nearly every presentation ends with applause. Many times, people speak their thanks for the information shared as they depart, and I’m always glowing when someone says, “Fantastic presentation! I got lots of ideas! Thank you so much.”

I, too, have benefited by meeting photographers, genealogists, story tellers and others with tips to share. I remember the woman whose daughter was an Olympic gymnast and died at age 32, the woman creating a celebration album for her son’s 50th birthday, the woman making a cook book for her mother’s Pakistani recipes and so many others with interesting stories to tell.

Earlier this week, after a presentation to about 50 people at the library in Lake Zurich, I packed my notes and all my props and lugged them out to my car, looking forward to listening to the Twins baseball game on satellite radio on the way home.

A blonde woman with a friendly smile tracked me down in the parking lot to thank me.

“I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your presentation and to thank you for sharing,” she said.

“You’re welcome,” I replied as I piled my bags into my car. “You’re sweet to seek me out. I appreciate it.”

“Oh, I’m trying to do that more often, to thank people,” she said.

As I drove away, I thought about how the woman was cultivating such a beneficial habit. She made me feel good and meanwhile, she probably felt good, too.

Then yesterday, on my way to yet another library talk, I heard an ad on Oprah Radio for her thank-you game. It’s sort of a pay-it-forward thank-you game designed to thank half a billion people worldwide. I wondered if the woman in the Lake Zurich parking lot was playing Oprah’s game, and I thought others might be interested in spreading gratitude. If so, check this out.


Wishing you a wonderful weekend and a summer of gratitude.

“The more you praise and celebrate in life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

~ Oprah Winfrey


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