Written by Joanna Krawczynski
This morning, I set out to prepare one of my favorite breakfast meals: granola and yogurt. We usually stick to plain yogurt at home, so I tend to add a dollop of maple syrup to make my morning meal even more delicious.
One problem: I forgot that we finished the maple syrup yesterday. I scoured the fridge, poked behind leftovers and jam jars – in vain.
This served as a reminder for me that I cannot give myself a treat if I do not first have something to give.
Okay, this sounds painfully obvious in a kitchen setting. However, if we apply this concept to our workplaces, street corners and even our homes, it is also clear that we miss the mark on many occasions, trying to give someone something that we do not have in the first place.
For example, earlier this week, I was commuting by bus. I don’t know if people are like this all across Canada, but most people in the Vancouver area thank the bus driver as they get off the bus. Some people yell so loud it can often sound as if they are angry. Others mutter a quick “thank you” under their breath. Still others accompany their message with words of best wishes.
We do this because this is what we were taught. Because this is recognized as the polite thing to do. However, I wonder – is this the honest thing to do?
Maybe that is why giving thanks, for some people, has become seen as cliché or cheesy. In a society where many give thanks, but few have genuine gratitude to begin with, it is no wonder that saying “thank you” can sometimes seem shallow. Saying these two words is often a mere gesture of politeness rather than a recognition of the unrepeatable gift of another person’s time.
To give thanks, we must first be truly thankful. Just like this morning, I could not sweeten my yogurt if I had no sweetener.
And we certainly have an abundance to be thankful for, even when the maple syrup runs dry or the turkey does not turn out right. We can be thankful for the sole fact that we have each other. Each person you meet this weekend (and beyond) is utterly unique, an unrepeatable life with immeasurable value.
When we say “thank you” for the gifts, time, or talent that we receive from others, let us resolve to make these two words count by using this phrase not out of a desire to be polite, but out of sincere gratitude for the gift of immeasurable value and inherent dignity that is found in the life of the other.
So, from all of our staff and board at NCLN, we want to extend a heart-felt thank you to our supporters and students; the gifts, time, and talent that you give to the Pro-Life Student Movement are truly helping us promote a culture of life in our country. We hope that you too can take the opportunity this weekend to give a sincere thank you to those around you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend!