As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that
the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to
live by them. - John F. Kennedy
How trustworthy are our words if there is no action behind them? We can tell our kids not to smoke, but if they see us doing it, can we realistically expect them to listen? We can say we care about our health, but do our eating habits confirm that we do? The old adage rings true: Actions speak louder than words.
It is not just the words we say that reveal the condition of our hearts. People watch what we do more than what we say. Our actions are the best indicators of who we really are. Actions can speak so loud that we may not even need words at all sometimes. If you see a man treating his wife with love and respect, speaking well of her, supporting and acknowledging her, you don’t need him or anyone to tell you that he loves her. If you know someone who gives of their time and resources to help people in need, you do not need to be told that he or she cares or that he or she is a giving person. Observing the actions of others lead us to come to our own conclusions.
When our hearts are truly thankful, it will come out and be evident in our words. With a thankful heart we will not find fault, but rather, we will find something to praise. We will not complain, but instead, we will rejoice. With a thankful heart, we will not focus on what is lacking, we will be filled with all that is good. We will not be resentful because we feel cheated; we will cherish and acknowledge the many ways in which we are blessed. The way we live, our attitude, and our perspective is communicating something to someone at all times.
We can be assured that our gratitude and appreciation is being heard when our life becomes a song of praise—realizing our many blessings are undeserved, our life is a gift, the love we share with others is priceless, and the beauty and wonder we see and experience in creation is a privilege.
Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a licensed professional counselor, author, teacher, and musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling Services, where relationship counseling & professional counseling is provided for individuals, couples, and families. She is also the co-founder of BeHappy4Life.com, an award-winning self-improvement and personal growth site.