Friday, May 16, 2008

Dear Dave

I was just putting my notes away after finishing my fourth, and last, lecture in the great state of Washington when I found a small piece of green paper tucked inside my notes. That I found it is a miracle because my notes are famously scattered and tattered and a little piece of paper could easily get lost in there for life. But this one didn't. It fluttered out just as I closed the file.

Picking it up, I thought it was just a random piece of paper and was about to scrunch it up and throw it away when I noticed that there was writing on one side of it. I stopped to read it. Joe was rush, rush, rushing me because we were wanting to get on the road to catch the ferry from Kingston to Edmonds. I folded the paper up and tucked it into my pocket without reading more than ...

Dear Dave,

We got in the car and I fussed around with Ted, our GPS, getting him all set to give us directions. Then we were off. We hadn't driven that route before and the day was beautiful so I soon forgot the little piece of green paper tucked into my pocket. We just missed the 4:30 ferry but the next was at 5:10 so we just enjoyed the time watching people and being catty about men with pony tails and women wired to cell phones. It was fun.

It was back in our hotel in Vancouver when I pulled my wallet out to get money for Chinese food delivery that I remembered the note, and then it was because the green slip of paper came out attached to my wallet. After paying for the food I sat back to read the note. It was only a few sentences long, it was extremely personal, and I felt the room fall silent around me as I read. I folded the paper back up and placed it back into my wallet.

You want to know what the note said, I'm sure, but I'm only going to say that it was a very personal note of 'thank you' to me for the work that I do and for something that I said which made an impact on the way of thinking of the person who wrote the note. I went to bed and after turning the light off I thought about the wonderful act of kindness that the note represented. Someone took the time, in a world where few of us have enough time, to say 'Thank You'. Someone took the time to express gratitude and gratefulness.

While the note touched me. While the words are still resting in my mind and heart. It is the reminder that a word of 'thanks' can mean so much, make such an impact, that is staying with me right now. Occasionally in my life I remember to adopt the 'attitude of gratitude' that should be common but is instead a rarity. Occasionally I work to purposely acknowledge the effect that others have on me. But I fail more than I succeed.

A little piece of green paper brought me such intense pleasure. A few words carefully chosen and neatly written are saved inside my wallet. Going to Washington was worth it, I gave four lectures, talked to dozens of people, got a lovely paycheck but more, much more ... God be praised ... I got a little slip of green paper!


tekeal said...

while biking to work last night a woman in a car stopped for me and our eyes met, and she smiled. i almost starting crying. i didn't know i needed it, and i'm sure she didn't realise how her tiniest of kind human gestures impacted my heart.

i guess most of the time we don't know how we touch each other, but how wonderful when we do.

Anonymous said...

I know a man who always says the secret to happiness is gratitude. More and more everyday I learn how right he is.


Anonymous said...

Well Dave...this is a "green paper" comment. Thank you for what you do and especially for sharing it here on your blog. You have become an important voice in my daily life.