I challenge you, today, right now, to start a list- on your computer, smartphone, back of an envelope, ...wherever. Think in terms of categories. Those nearest and dearest come to mind first, but sometimes the last people we thank. We think that they will always be there, so we put it off. The next group would be our friends, acquaintances, people we might see on a weekly basis. For me, this would include my church family, speech and debate friends, ballet moms, art friends, neighbors... The last group could be those from the past: teachers, mentors, maybe your old playgroup, or babysitter... as well as those from the future: you know the people we see, the grocery clerk or bank teller-whose name you may or may not know, but there is a recognition, a shared smile or kind word.
If we took a name off that list each day, and paid a visit, made a phone call, wrote a quick note or a heartfelt letter, or even an email or a message on Facebook... It can take less than two minutes- but imagine the difference it would make not just to the recipient, but to yourself and to God. The Bible reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to ..give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Wow! This is what He wants for us! There must be a reason. It makes us feel good. It makes the person thanked feel appreciated. It recognizes the creator of the universe, the One who orchestrated it all in the first place. Win win win, connect connect connect. It all makes sense.
I'd like to thank the academy.. and if you're reading this... know that you're probably on my list. Expect to be hearing from me. :)