Life Lately: Witnessing Gratitude
“Thank you, thank you so much for being here. Thank you…” Our night dancing and singing along with The Oh Hellos in DC was chock-full of gratitude. During their previous visit in 2013 to one of DC’s more unique music halls, 6th and I Synagogue, they had been assigned the basement room with space for about 150. Now, two years later, The Oh Hellos had the main stage (a sanctuary in this case) with a packed house of 800. They were so incredibly thankful for the spotlight, it was nearly palpable. Unrehearsed pauses after songs permitted more we really appreciate you coming tonight’s and starry-eyed you guys are awesome‘s.
While in Vietnam, Chau was so thankful for her time practicing English with Dan and I that she made us a meal. Many Westerns decline invitations to talk with the local students, presuming its a sales tactic, so when finally given a “sure” Chau was overjoyed. After a day of med school she brought tins of duck and fish to the breakfast room of our hotel embracing a second opportunity to chat. (Read the whole story here.)
At the hawker center in Singapore’s China Town I was approached by a local kid and his mother. The boy was supposed to encourage tourists to put away their trays at the center as a practice for his leadership and speaking skills. Following his instructions, I deposited my tray and smiled for a picture (proof to his teacher, I believe). The exchange ended quickly but not without a thousand polite thank you’s.
All these situations, smattered across the globe, resonate in a similar format with me. I feel as though I witnessed profound gratitude and there is little that compares with being the recipient of these kind of words and actions. It makes me feel happy and energized, optimistic about my own goals and totally inspired.
Last Thursday the rest of America and I picked up our forks and plowed through obscene servings of butter-based calories (or was that just me?). The idea is that on Thanksgiving, we give thanks. Thanks to our health, our honeys, our good fortune… the list is goes on. In my opinion, it’s a solid start to the holiday season which, we hope, is the season of giving.
This year, keep an eye out for profound gratitude and how it makes you feel. You know all the reasons it is dispersed: volunteering, donating, or in my case simply chatting. So if you’re seeking a gift this Cyber Monday keep gratitude in mind. Sometimes the most thoughtful gifts are the ones that cost you nothing- simply time and awareness.
Who are The Oh Hellos? Bitter Water is one of my fav songs. Enjoy!