Express Gratitude

January 19, 2020

Years ago, I was asked to speak to a group of about 25 senior citizens to encourage them to enjoy their latter years. They were 20-30 years older and I struggled to come up with the right words. One of the women in the group just happened to be my mentor. Prior to the engagement, I met with my mentor and told her of my struggle to speak to the group. She looked over the rim of her glasses and said softly, “express gratitude.” Confused, I asked for clarification. “They may not be your peer and they may not even have the same level of education as you, but they represent the generation before you and in their own way paved the road that you and your generation take for granted everyday. You want to encourage them, give them a message that expresses gratitude.” Instead of speaking to them, I let them speak to me – asking each of them to tell me their life stories. The two hour engagement turned into a group mentoring session and I left the event better than when I arrived. I closed the session by expressing my gratitude with the two words, “thank you.”

The group taught me the lesson of expressing gratitude toward mentors that I still practice today. Mentors pour their skills and experiences into their mentees free of charge asking nothing in return. You know the role that mentors have played in your life…and the two words “thank you” are the best way to express your gratitude.

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