Little Words of Thanks

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday this week, I am thinking of the power of the two little words that we use at this time of year: Thank you. Of course, the English teacher in me got wondering about where those two little words originated, so I Googled the etymology and discovered that “thank” traces its origins back to the word “think” in the sense of “having a thought.” So, “thank you” can be seen to mean “having a thought about you” for what you have done for me. Here is a neat little look into the words “thank you”.

From the time when we were little, we were taught the power of “thank you” as our parents encouraged us to write thank-you notes when we received gifts and to say “please” and “thank you” when we wanted something and received it. Those little words of gratitude have the same ability as a smile to lift someone’s spirits and to let them know, “I am thinking about you with gratitude for what you have done.”

Spending my days at Maria College, I hear “thank you” often as the halls are filled with gratitude from our generous students who share notes, study time together, and support for each other; from faculty, staff, and administrators who share ideas, encouragement, and a listening ear to each other and to our students; from everyone when we have delicious food events such as pot luck lunches and before-class snacks (!); and from the outside community who are grateful for the caring service our students give through their professions in nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, and more.

And at this time of year and always, we are mindful of the thanks we must share with God, just as Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, noted: “The most acceptable return a benefactor can receive from those on whom he bestows favors, is a countenance testifying the gratitude of the heart. How acceptable it must be to God when we make Him this return, showing to all, by a cheerful, happy countenance, the gratitude with which our hearts overflow towards Him for His many favors in this life, and His great promises for the life to come.”

Until next time . . .


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