Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kindness and Gratitude

     In yesterday's post, I mentioned the research that a friend e-mailed me about indicating that the top two things we can do to increase our happiness are to cultivate gratitude and to do acts of kindness.  Today I decided to work on the first one by writing another of my handwritten thank you notes.  I'll be doing this throughout this year (and hopefully beyond!).  I try to pick someone who has either had an important influence on me personally, or else someone who has made an impact on our community.  There are many people who devote their time, talents, and even money to make our communities better places.  So often they do this with little fanfare or acknowledgement; in fact, they're sometimes subject to petty criticism.  It's nice to let these people know that their efforts are appreciated. 
     In my hometown, a vibrant running community has sprouted over the past several years.  There are scores of runners, of varying ages and abilities, all working toward their own goals.  They share workouts, personal struggles and triumphs, laughs, training tips and advice, and, of course, comraderie.  You can find them meeting early in the morning and later in the evening, on weekdays and on weekends for long runs.  The central gathering spot for all this activity is our local Main Street running store - The Moorestown Running Company. 
    The store, but more importantly, the very real running community it has created, was mostly the product of one person's dream.  He put lots of personal financial capital into making it happen, and he continues to devote significant energy, enthusiasm, and creativity into helping to promote running.  While he does it out of a love for all things related to running, it's nonetheless important to recognize those efforts.  That's where my thank you note went today.

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