Published By: Cindy Vondenkamp

“Gratitude” is a feeling …… “thanks-giving” is an action.

Have you considered this distinction?  For example, I am grateful for enduring health, friends and family.  For living among the fox, bear, elk and moose. For the forested mountain neighborhood that is more beautiful today than it was when I moved in 17 years ago.  In my work, I’m continuously grateful to the LifeShare founders for their determined innovation to create an easy to use a communication tool that is feature rich and super affordable.

These are thoughts…feelings I have… emotions.  Feeling “gratitude” really only affects me.  Many people keep a gratitude list and mine has no end in sight.  Others may have no idea of my feelings of gratitude unless I take action.   If I do not take an act of showing “thanks-giving” how will others know I am grateful?  Saying I am thankful, is an action and one way to impact others.

At my Thanksgiving table, a favorite tradition is to circulate a “blessings” rock. Whoever is in possession of the rock, expresses what they are grateful for.

Maybe this Thanksgiving I will spend time reflecting on all there is to be grateful for and then figure out more ways to translate feelings of gratitude into tangible actions of thanksgiving.  Ways such as sending an email, making a call, a surprise gift, performing a favor or sending a card.

One way is to create a gratitude list as a gift.  Send it to your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles on their LifeShare.  Imagine their delight to open your message on their TV with a long list of “I love you Grandpa because______.”    Go crazy!  Think of all things no matter how big, stupid, beautiful, small or unique.  Some comments on my husband’s list were, “I love the way you rest a pair of sun glasses on your forehead right above your eyebrows and they never fall down” and “I love the way you frantically scratch the top of your head with both hands right before you react to something frustrating.”

What an endearing gift of thanks this could be for others. After all, numerous studies support that the benefits of showing thanksgiving is a two-way street.  See proof that helping others helps you.

Every day, I truly appreciate how LifeShare founders developed engaging technology for seniors that is not confusing and makes a real difference in their day to day living.  At LifeShare we love getting your spontaneous expressions of gratitude from families, staff, and seniors giving thanks for the difference that LifeShare has made in their lives.