We May Not Be Famous, But We Can Be Grateful

pink_hearts_sour_video.jpgMost of us will never be famous.

But that doesn’t mean that each of us doesn’t touch other people’s hearts and lives in deep and meaningful ways every day, often without ever knowing it.

I personally have had people come to me years after an event to tell me how profoundly something that I did or said impacted their lives. Often the something was so insignificant to me that I don’t remember it at all.

Likewise, “small” things others have done, or words they have spoken casually, without a second thought, have changed the course of my life for the better. I am deeply grateful to all the people who have unknowingly made my life richer and more meaningful.

I am so thankful for everything: the things I have, the privileges I enjoy, the people in my life. Whenever I can, I like to express my gratitude, to be thankful, directly and indirectly. And I feel wonderful when someone else expresses his or her gratitude to me. It touches my heart, and makes me want to keep doing good.

A few months ago my friend Jennifer Marriott, sent me a beautiful song of gratitude written and performed by Cheryl Wheeler, also a not-so-famous-but-much-loved singer, songwriter, performer and comedienne. She’s an insightful, funny, and gifted storyteller who uses narrative, music and lyrics to create magical connections and evoke powerful emotions in her audiences.

I had never heard of her until Jennifer, who is also a fabulous blues singer/songwriter, sent me the song (called Gandhi Buddha), as a gift.

It’s one of the most beautiful songs of love and gratitude I’ve ever heard.  The first time I played it I cried the whole way through. The second time I played it I cried the whole way through again.

It still makes me cry, even though I must have listened to it at least a hundred times already: more opportunities to celebrate the tracks of my tears. Here it is:

We should all be so blessed as to have someone about whom we feel this way. We should all be so blessed as to have someone who feels this way about us.

Alex’s Letter of Gratitude

But gratitude doesn’t have to be confined to our friends, family or others who are close to us.

Sometimes total strangers can change our lives simply by being there when we need love, support and guidance, and we feel eternally grateful to them as a result. Such was the case when a troubled teenaged girl named Alex went to summer camp in Ontario, Canada, last summer.

She found Jackie, a young woman in her early twenties who took the time to listen to her story in a way that has helped Alex to turn her own life around. Alex’s letter of gratitude to Jackie talks of pain, loneliness, self-injury, and, since their encounter last summer, of hope.

You can read Alex’s simple, yet powerful letter of gratitude here.