Gladys B. Stern, born in London England in 1890, wrote her first novel at the age of 20 and continued to write prolifically through her life creating novels, short stories, plays, memoirs, biographies and literary criticism. In one of her many books, she wrote this line: “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”
As we go through life, we pass from one episode to another so quickly that we sometimes forget to share our gratitude with others for all the help and guidance they give us along the way. While serving as a hospice chaplain, one of the phrases I heard most often was, “I wish I would have thanked him (or her) for all they did for me.” Such undelivered communication can become the source of anguish and grief for a long time after someone who was deeply cherished was taken away.
It doesn’t need to involve big things before we are motivated to show our gratitude. Even the smallest things sometimes can mean a lot. For instance, my beloved wife put drops in my eyes several times a day because of my chronic dry eyes. Each time she does I say, “Thank you, love, love.” One day she said to me, “You don’t have to thank me each time I do this.” My response was soft and simple. I said, “We thank God every day before we eat. He’s never said: You don’t need to thank me each time you eat.” So if we say it to God each day, why not say it to each other?”
Needless to say, I haven’t stopped showing her my gratitude for even the smallest things she does for me and she appreciates it each time I do. So the next time you are the recipient of someone’s good word or deed, remember what Gladys Stern said: “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” – Dr. Robert R Seyda