Jonathan Swift, in his creative piece called Gulliver’s Travels, noted that the “small” people of Lilliput considered ingratitude the only crime punishable for life…. As we hurry through another season of Thanksgiving (largely ignored by merchants trying to make money off a Christmas season that apparently began before Halloween this year), I find myself trying to reflect on the pleasant discipline of expressing gratitude where it is well deserved—but not often delivered. A few thoughts I’m working on:

(1)   A word of thanks to the tired cashier who helped me get through with my groceries with a smile at the end of the day, even though she had been maligned by a customer in front of me who dressed her down for not registering her discount quickly enough

(2)   A note to a sanitation servant who took my trash away, in the wet and cold portion of the day, so that my day—and my week—would show less clutter and rubbish….

(3)   A gesture of appreciation to an overextended nurse who stopped what she was doing to help a senior adult be fed—when our church member could no longer hold a fork, or reach a glass

(4)   A word to a child who received two cookies at a table, and came over to give me one of them

(5)   A gentle comment to the person taking our order at the restaurant, who patiently changed the order twice, then quietly responded to a rude request for added service

Written by Dan Bagby