One of the most positive things that any one of us can do is to take the time to express our appreciation. When we do, it makes what another has done for us worthwhile. It lifts the other up and lets them know that they did all right. People, especially parents, love to know that they are appreciated in spite of the external gifts and favors that are given. However, I will not focus on the parent-child aspect of this tonight as much as I want to. When we let others know that we appreciate what they have done or what they are doing, we lift them up and we acknowledge their actions and their labors.
It is so important in life to cultivate a general attitude of thankfulness, beyond showing appreciation for other people. If you stopped right this second and made a list of all that you have, physically, materially and even what is within your own heart, would you be able to honestly say you are at this second thankful for them? If not, become thankful. Excessively often in life, we seem to focus more on our problems and our shortcomings. When we do this, we give each of them more control of our lives. Being thankful for all things in our lives helps us to live our lives at a higher level and helps us see the possibilities for improvement.
Tonight, think of individuals to whom you have never before, genuinely, expressed appreciation and thankfulness for and make it a point to let them know that you are indeed thankful for what they have done and for what they may be doing now. Let us each make it a habit of being appreciative and thankful for the positive things as well as some of the negative things in our lives. It is when we nurture and encourage the good things and the good people and all they have done that our lives will truly be full of joy.