Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thanks Said and Heard

There were two people in my training today, both who had come as the guests of my hosts, both young people who are well into their careers regarding sexuality and disabilities. They are so young, so passionate, so focussed on what they want to do, and what needs to be done. It gives me great pleasure to meet those who are the up and coming - those to whom I will one day pass the torch.

Both of them quietly made time to speak to me privately. Each was shy but each worked very hard to let me know that my work had influenced them. Each was determined to get through a little speach about how important it was to come and tell me that what I had done had mattered to them.

These are always such difficult moments. For them, trying not to sound trite, for me, knowing what to do with my face. But it is important for them to say, and it's important for me to hear. The need they had to say 'thanks' speaks well for them and their character. The desire to let me know that what I had done had mattered to them let me know that they understood the need that all have to know that what was done, was contributed mattered. For me, always embarrassed by these kind of comments - it simply feels good.

I remember, once, trying to thank someone who had guided me, influenced me, inspired me. She brusquely shoved my thanks aside, she said that she had no need of thanks. I felt shamed. I felt angry. I was completely disallusioned as to who she was as a person.

Whenever this happens I think of her, I wonder if she too was uncomfortable with the praise of others, if she didn't know how to simply listen and accept. So, I hope these two know that the discomfort I felt in the moment didn't diminish the gratitude I feel now.

It's important to say thanks.

It's important to hear thanks.

What a clever way to make the human heart.


Beautiful Mess said...

Happy ICLW!

What a clever way to make the human heart, indeed!

I often get thanked for my "good deeds", it feels odd. I'm not doing something in order to get thanked, so I brush it off at times. Making it no bog deal, so to speak. But that's not fair to the person who is thanking me. They are thanking me because they feel grateful for what I did, the thank you should be accepted and not brushed aside. Thank YOU for reminding me of this.

Kristin said...

"It's important to say thanks.

It's important to hear thanks.

What a clever way to make the human heart. "

Wow...that is such a wonderful reminder for all of us. Sometimes accepting praise and thanks graciously can be difficult and we all need to reminded how important that is.

theknapper said...

Thanks for the reminder of being gracious in receiving thanks. It really is important to stay with someone's gratitude....It's strange how we can want to make a difference so deeply & when we do it can be hard to let it in or we argue with ourselves that it somehow doesn't count.

Lisa RM said...

It is hard to give or take thanks, in many forms.

rickismom said...

So9metimes the biggest kindness we can do is to accept "Thanks" or a gift with a snmile and acknowledgement!