It was a typical fall morning in my neighborhood as I walked to the curb to retrieve our recycle bin. I paused for a moment, noticing a simple note taped to the top of the bin.
“What’s this?” I wondered.
Removing the note from the green bin lid, I began to read,
Great job! When it comes to recycling, you don’t monkey around and we are impressed! Thanks to residents like you, last year our city recycled more than 32,000 tons of material that would have otherwise been sent to the landfill. We appreciate all of your recycling efforts. Thanks for helping to keep our city clean and green!
Something inside of me began to swell, and a smile crept onto my face, for, lo and behold, my recycling efforts were recognized and appreciated.
You see, for years I had been 100% devoted to recycling everything in my home that could possibly be recycled. If you are the type of person that is into recycling, you would have been proud of me!
But then, times turned tough. One trial after another found it’s way into my life and something had to give. Long story short–I stopped recycling. I could no longer give 100% to everything in my life, so I started throwing everything in the trash can instead of putting the recycle items into the recycle bin.
“No one cares whether or not I recycle,” I told myself. “Besides, the recycle in our home doesn’t amount to much anyway in terms of quantity. And, boy! Life is so much easier when I don’t have to worry about washing out the peanut butter container before throwing it away.”
Several weeks passed this way, with most of our recycle going into the trash bin.
Something changed inside of me, however, when I read the note that was attached to the recycle bin—the note of gratitude. It became apparent that my efforts to recycle had been noticed and appreciated after all. Just knowing that made me desire to start recycling again. And so I did. I’m now back to washing peanut butter containers before tossing them in the recycle bin, and I’m perfectly fine with that.
Isn’t it amazing what a little gratitude can do?
Gratitude breathes life and soul into something that was once nearly dead. It rights the wrongs, illuminates the darkness, and inspires excellence in a way that very few things can.
Gratitude, in all its humble, but majestic splendor, has the ability to change the world, but that can’t happen without our involvement. For the benefits of gratitude to be witnessed in our lives, we must be grateful. We must take the time to notice the people and things around us and verbally express our gratitude for them.
Have you ever noticed that when you compliment a “difficult” child, they tend to improve their behavior?
Or when your kids thank you for cooking dinner, you tend to develop a light-hearted spring to your step?
Gratitude can work seeming miracles!
And what about the blogging world? We bloggers often agree to swap comment for comment in an effort to be seen and recognized, but what are those generic comments compared to one genuine comment, left by someone who really appreciates our contribution to the blogging community? How often are those types of genuine comments even left anymore? It seems we’re too busy to offer sincere, unsought-after words of encouragement and gratitude.
Recently, I came across the following posts on social media:
I wonder if all the effort I put into my blog is even worth it. I don’t know that anyone even reads it. I feel invisible.
To the members of this group: Since there is so little feedback taking place, I’m considering deleting the group. My hope for this group was to provide encouragement to other women. If it is not doing that, it is a waste of both my time and yours. If you desire for this group to remain intact, please let me know.
Both the blog and the group mentioned above were well-loved, used, and appreciated, but few took the time to voice their feelings until they learned of the discouragement felt by the authors. At that point, dozens and dozens of expressions of gratitude and pleas to continue the blog and group began to pour in.
Life is busy for all of us.
It’s especially busy and, well, even a bit crazy for bloggers, who are forced to deal with all the self-promotion that takes place in the world of blogging. We each have a desire to better the world with what we have to offer on our blogs. But are we becoming better individuals in the process? Are we benefiting from the good that other bloggers are sharing, or are we too rushed to even read through their posts, absorb the meaning of their carefully-chosen words, allow their insights to improve our personal lives in one way or another?
We each long for genuine followers, but are we genuinely following anyone else? The blogging world is so massive that we could never ingest even the tiniest percentage of what is out there, but is there a blog or two that you feel drawn to, that resonates with you, that keeps you coming back for more? Why not let your presence be known? Have you ever let the author of those blogs know how much you appreciate their content, how much their hard, behind-the-scenes work is blessing your life?
Why not email one or two of your favorite bloggers and let them know how much you enjoy their blog. Let them know that you are a regular reader, that you appreciate their perspective on things, that you have benefited from their posts–share the positive thoughts you always think in your mind when you read their blog but have never verbalized.
A blogger can differentiate from a mile away a genuine comment from a generic one. They will appreciate your authentic gratitude. It will lift them, motivate them, and encourage them to continue their blogging efforts.
It will make them feel visible.
The blogging world has so much good to offer. Let us draw from the wells of goodness available online by identifying a blog or two that we really enjoy and becoming regular followers and encouraging supporters of them.
Those who receive encouraging comments are more likely to share encouraging comments of their own.
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Kind words are received, reshaped, and shared with another in what might be called ‘recycled gratitude’.
Let’s start a Blogger Gratitude Movement—“Blessing the lives of those in the blogging community, one genuine comment at a time.”
Blogging inspires. It can transform a life with a simple word of encouragement or a breathtaking photograph. It can also tear you apart if used or manipulated the wrong way. Starting today, let’s recognize the magnitude of this medium and help to share community and creativity with one another. ~ Danielle Williams, Managing Editor, Artful Blogger (Vol. 10, Issue 1)
Day 27 Challenge: Identify one or two blogs that you visit regularly and share some encouraging words with the author.
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