Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving: It's Both Caught and Taught

Today our nation observes a day for the sole purpose of giving thanks. Thanks be to God for that...and much more!

I was reminded of how great gratitude makes a person feel when I came home last Saturday to a card from the varsity girls' golf team at St. Ignatius. Though I have coached girls' golf in the past, this year I was simply a "friend of the program." I drove these athletes to several of their matches deep down the WCAL highway to South and East San Jose. In addition to a personal note from each golfer, I received a gift card for a local restaurant (way to support a local business). I was touched by their thoughtfulness and I let them know I am happy to help in any way I can.

Their gesture is not something I take for granted. Thanksgiving, thankfulness, appreciation and gratitude is something that is both caught and taught....and personally, I don't want to live in a world without it. We must model it and teach one another how and why it's important. It is. Whether or not that feels perfunctory does not matter. Saying "thank you" is always the right thing to do. 

The window between Thanksgiving and Christmas is an easy yet worthy time to extend gratitude everyone who makes our athletics programs go. 

Athletic directors: thank the men and women who run the clocks, keep book, work the gates, officiate and give their time so our athletes can compete. Ask student athletes to sign a card of thanks so they can understand the role others play—so that we can play.  You can delegate this task to coaches or to captains of teams to finish!

Head coaches: thank the athletic director and all those in the athletics office. Having been in that office, I know just how much happens behind the scenes. To thank these people is to be aware of what they do for you. Moreover, talk to your AD about how to recognize those who make your athletic programs go. You can delegate this task to coaches or to captains of teams. It's always good to be on the same page when it comes time to thank others.
Team Captains: make sure you have a card or gift for your coaches. No youth sports coach does what they do for the money or for a gift. We do it because we enjoy working with young people, we love sports and want to have fun. Let us know what you appreciate about our program or coaching style and method. Share with your coaches what is fun about working together. Remember, a little goes a long way. You can reach out to team parents for help with ways to extend gratitude to your head coach and all the assistant coaches.

The Gratitude Habitat reminds us

Two of the most profound words we have in our vocabulary are ‘thank you’. Gratitude is infinite and when we express our appreciation, we are, by definition, offering a prayer. When we are living and absorbed in the moment rather than confined by the past or worrying about the future, we open ourselves to everything around us. Sights, sounds, colors…everything is heightened. In turn, this enhanced awareness allows gratitude to flow freely. And when we feel truly grateful, giving thanks is the perfect expression of our appreciation.

Each day, say your prayers. Say ‘thank you’!

Prayer is something that is both caught and taught too. To teach and model saying thanks is to help another person pray. Meister Eckart said  If the only prayer you ever say in your life is ‘thank you’, that would suffice.

Amen. Happy Thanksgiving

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