Say Thanks with a Smile

Gratitude is the surest foundation of a happy life. That’s true for cultivating your own feelings of gratitude for things, events and especially toward people.  It goes the other way too. There’s nothing that makes me feel happier than knowing something I’ve said, done or helped someone experience made them feel great – AKA grateful. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean they say “thank you”. While that’s nice, there are just too many ways to discount a polite thank you from someone who doesn’t look all that happy.

I think deeply feeling someone’s gratitude is one of the reasons why giving is so much better than receiving.  For me, the best thank-you’s are non-verbal. You feel it to your bones because you know it’s real, and you know you made it so.  It affirms who you are.  You are good.

We rent out a couple of cabins near our gorgeous waterfall. I make it a point to take each new guest on a personal tour of the waterfall and trails, pointing out ways to enjoy it.

It takes some extra time. But I do it mainly so I can experience that flush of endorphins that comes from seeing the look of amazement and pure pleasure as they come to the top of the falls, peer over the edge, and find that it is so much more than they expected. You see, the expression of pure pleasure on someone’s face is a form of gratitude that beats the oral kind hands down.

Every time I get to vicariously experience pure joy just by seeing someone else’s face, knowing that I helped put the smile there, I want to do it again and again. It’s a good thing to notice the pleasure you feel from other’s genuine gratitude and how that programs you to keep doing nice things.  It goes the other direction too.  Simply by wearing a genuine, expressive smile, other people will do whatever they can to help me keep wearing it.  

So, smile. It’s your best way of saying thank you and it pays high dividends for others and yourself.

2 thoughts on “Say Thanks with a Smile

  1. The universal concern that is observed is one of care and love for others. This concern can be demonstrated in the principle of regarding others the way that one would like to be regarded. Taoism’s Lao-Tzu, “To those who are good to me, I am good. To those who are not good to me, I am also good.”
    I personally like this better than the Golden Rule. While it may be intended for the same purpose it is often touted as an excuse or justification to treat others the same as we are being treated when that treatment is not good. This fosters that ever prevalent “Division” that still perplexes our world. If we understood that we ARE Humanity and not just human we would have the desire to act altruistically naturally and without hesitation. Thank you 1st Villager for providing an environment where people can flourish.


    • Thanks for your insight, Aleva
      I think the great sages and prophets all reached the same conclusions. It’s the not-so-ardent followers who twist their words to suit their predispositions. Jesus further clarified His commandment to treat others as we would be treated, when He said we must love our enemies and those who would spitefully use us. For those who care to look beyond the platitudes, there is no lack of clarity.
      I love something attributed to Mother Theresa. It’s on our fridge. Similar to Lao Tsu, she said, “ if you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
      Be kind anyway.
      What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight.
      Build anyway.
      The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.
      Do good anyway.
      Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
      Give the World the best you’ve got anyway.
      You see, in the final analysis,
      It is between you and your God… Anyway.”


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