Saying ‘thank you’ is powerful

Being thankful helps you and your community

Alan H. Jones is pastor at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Sacramento.

Alan H. Jones is pastor at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Sacramento.

I am deeply thankful for you.

The famous mystic Meister Eckhart is quoted as saying: If the only prayer you say in your life is Thank You, it will be enough.

The question remains, however, enough for what?

Saying “thank you” is powerful, perhaps much more powerful than is normally recognized. If I am regularly thanking the Creator for life, health, strength, love, family, community, etc., it helps me to keep a sense of perspective on the world and myself. It helps me to find a measure of humility, listening and responding to the world around me.

I think it is actually impossible to stop at saying, “Thank you.” Thankfulness inevitably leads to flourishing.

If I am in a state of flourishing, the only way in which growth can continue to happen is for me to enable the flourishing of other people. Being thankful generates positive energy, an energy that brings healing and hope to the world.

The absence of thankfulness is the presence of a sense of entitlement that inevitably become narcissistic and self-absorbed—and this becomes indifferent or dismissive of the struggles and needs of other people. You are unable to listen to other people, to see people as they are and certainly cannot give value to their experience.

We are living in times of moral relativism where absolutes such as compassion, justice, nonviolence and peace are being questioned and diminished—and sometimes trashed. The American Dream has become toxic as it now insinuates that every human being must take full responsibility for themselves and helping others is no longer a virtue.

But I thank God for you and for all thankful people. They see other people and hear their needs.

Like a bird, effortlessly riding an updraft on an invisible thermal current, you—a thankful person—are lifted higher and higher to be more and more loving by the generous love springing up within you as you proclaim:

Thank you for the gifts of life and love!

Thank you for the beauty of creation!

Thank you for the gift of seeing and hearing!

Thank you for this amazing human family!

Thank you!

I am deeply thankful for you!