2008-12-12 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

I recently read the following letter in an e-mail I received and thought it had a good point to it. Rather than just repeat the sentiment, I wanted to reprint it as written. Holidays are upon us and many gifts and feelings are exchanged. It is so important to remember to not take people who love us for granted. None of us know what the future holds or what wisdom will come to us as we age. It is important to do simple loving acts today and not put them off till tomorrow.

Dear God,

I remember when my grandmother bought me an expensive book for my high school graduation gift. She spent her entire month's small retirement salary for that book. I was a busy teenager who was going to thank her someday when I could find the time.

Sadly, grandmother found the time to die before I found the time to be grateful.

I learned an important lesson that day, O Lord. I learned that thanking someone quickly for the good they have done is so much better than thanking them slowly for it. I have also learned that when I am late in thanking someone for their kindness or generosity that it gets easier and easier to simply not thank them at all.

Once a certain amount of time passes it is almost impossible to thank someone without our insincerity nullifying or weakening the very words of gratitude we eventually utter. When that happens our avoidance of the other person is usually the alternative we choose to follow. Avoidance is our foolish way of saving face. We save our face at the expense of losing a generous friend.

God, keep me grateful. Give me the timely words with which to express my gratitude. I would much rather have an on-going friendship with a generous friend than an ungrateful expression on my face or a spirit of avoidance in my heart.

Love, Larry.

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