NOTE: This week’s issue marks the 500th consecutive week that I have posted on this blog. That equates to about nine years and seven months. Or nearly 115 months. In keeping with today’s topic of gratitude, thank you for following, reading, and sharing this blog. Without you, it would not be a blog. It would be a diary. I am grateful for you. And now….for this week’s offering.
Reaching out, instead of lashing out.
Nearly eight years ago, on January 1, 2012, I began a personal gratitude project. I vowed to handwrite a Thank You note of gratitude each day to a different person or group of people—and then mail it or hand it to him/her/them. 2012 would be The Year of Gratitude.
I committed myself to writing at least 366 notes in 2012 (leap year). By December 31, 2012 I addressed notes to nearly 400 people (a few days saw more than one person get a note).
I repeated the project for this year, 2019. When I deliver my last note on December 31, 2019, once again nearly 400 people will have been recipients of 365 days (non-leap year) of note writing.
The notes have gone to long-time friends, neighbors, musicians, national celebrities, colleagues, wait staff and service personnel in restaurants and hotels around the nation, former students, journalists, a police department, a fire chief, city leaders, doctors, veterans, people I have volunteered with on community projects, pet therapy advocates and mentors, family members, grocery store staff, former colleagues, fellow “gym rats,” an insurance agent, a broker, a Congressman, custodians, and others.In each note, I taped the following:
Gratitude Amplifies, Rescues, and Connects.
-Robert A. Emmons-
At times, in a world challenged by agitation, anxiety, and anger, we may forget to pause to appreciate and acknowledge the good people in our lives. I have promised myself to send at least one “GRATITUDE” note per day for the entire year of 2019 to people like you who make our world a better place. Know that you help amplify, rescue, and connect our world—one kind action at a time. We need more people like you. THANK YOU! -Steve Piscitelli, 2019
I then wrote a few personal reflections as to specific traits that the person had—and how that person made a difference in our world.
This was how I finished most of my days. Before turning out the light I pulled out a card and spent 3 or 4 minutes writing the note for the next day.
Why did I invest time and treasure in this project?
- It proved to be a very positive way to end each day. For the few minutes I wrote the note, no matter how ugly the day may have been (in my perception) I found it very difficult to be upset or angry as I wrote a note of appreciation to someone.
- People really do appreciate being appreciated! I received many, many, many notes of gratitude for my notes of gratitude. That was never my intent. I believe it was Leo Buscaglia who said something to the effect of “If you give a gift expecting something in return, then it was never a gift. It was merely a loan.” The return gratitude notes, though, did make me feel good.
- There is something about handwriting a note—and receiving such a note. I was told that often.
- There were people I missed (I am sure). That is not a reflection on them—just on me for missing them. This is another reminder that in reality I have much to be grateful for in my life. More people who have graced my way than I can remember.
- Hopefully, my practice inspired a recipient or two to adopt a similar project for their lives. Reaching out to acknowledge the connectedness that we all share—or can share if we nurture it.
I know it probably sounds “so very 1960s” of me, but wouldn’t it be a much better world if we reach out—without manipulation, without exploitation, without an expectation for personal gain—to people around us. Reaching out, instead of lashing out.
I am grateful that you take time to read my blog, share it, and perhaps even act on the messages.
Next week I will post my annual “A Blogger’s Retrospective” in which I will provide a quick summary of and link to each of my 2019 blog posts. Look for my year-end video—a moment of gratitude from the beach to you.
I appreciate you.
Video Recommendation for the week.
Two videos this week
This quick excerpt comes from one of my stage presentations. It reminds the audience that our efforts (like a gratitude note) do matter. A simple thank you goes a long way.
And, from my first CD, a song of gratitude to all the teachers out there
Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.
Stay tuned for my new book to be released in early 2020:
Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit.
Well, actually, my dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. In the meantime, check out her blog.
And you can still order:
- My latest book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
- Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.
You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®