Clear the backlog even if you cannot get in touch with the person (DW#655)

The practices that we have been discussing have two aspects:

1) the feeling of gratitude(which is an internal process for ourselves) and
2) the expressing of gratitudewhich is external and involves other people.

While it is extremely powerful to both feel and express gratitude, some of the people who show up in our list of people to thank may not be accessible to us at the present time. They may be out of touch, have passed on from this world or be entire groups of people such as teachers, speakers, coaches or volunteers at our places of worship.

In such situations, it is still worthwhile to engage in the first aspect of gratitude by recalling the kindnesses of such people, or groups of people, in detail. And then to write them out or to offer thanks to them in your imagination for the specific things that you are grateful for and appreciate about them.

One practice that I engage in regularly at the end of a busy season at our community centre is to recall the many many small things that the volunteers do which makes life so much easier for us. It is because of their effort and patience that people like myself are looked after, comfortable and well fed. It allows us to focus on learning and worship without worrying about the countless details that make it possible for us to do so. Practicing this makes me so much more appreciative of my time at the community centre and allows me to leave with a heart full of gratitude and loving wishes for these volunteers. While I sometimes manage to offer a word of thanks to an individual volunteer for a specific kindness, most of the time, the practice is simply recalling the many things that they do as a group.

Being Friday, many of us will visit places of worship for congregational worship today. How about taking a moment on your way back to bless all those who made it possible for you to do so?

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