In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

This week persons in the United States will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, a day set aside for giving thanks, gathering with loved ones, feasting, and perhaps watching football, as well as possibly shopping (as evidenced in the past few years).  But, overall, the emphasis is traditionally on “counting our blessings.”

Earlier this week I was feeling somewhat down by a lack of thanks.  In the past year I have helped a fair number of persons with their genealogy research in workshops, classes, help sessions, and email queries.  The overwhelming majority of those I have helped are appreciative and courteous.  But somehow there has been a short series of impatient (and dare I say “demanding”) requests.  It could be that persons are disappointed in my inability to solve some of their genealogy problems.  Even after investing a lot of time consulting and responding, these few persons simply find it beyond their ability to express any type of appreciation in the form of two words: thank you.  To me that is very disheartening.

And, then today I received this in an email from a close relative:

Just the other day, I was going through the folders that I have your genealogy material in (on the computer) and I read for the second time, the information you sent a couple years ago about Xavier Schaefers, brother to our great grandfather.   It was fascinating once again (especially about several of his children dying of diphtheria and the result mostly living to a ripe age) and it is so nice to have this information.   Thanks once again for all your interesting research that you put tremendous effort into.   I am so glad that you enjoy it because I know when you have new or more information you will share it.   I love history, and genealogy is a part of that.   So please remember how much I appreciate having this family history.

Wow, what a game-changer!  (Not to mention an attitude changer.)  That boosted my morale immediately and helped me realize that my work is appreciated.

My husband has an interesting perspective: the most famous person in Christianity was only thanked by one of ten lepers that He healed.

My goal is to be the one in ten who does give thanks when on the receiving end of help.

Happy Thanksgiving to my readers!

About maryjlohr

Avid genealogist.
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2 Responses to In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

  1. Karen Engesser says:

    Sometimes we become impatient, or lack the understanding necessary to realize how much work has gone into assistance received. I like your thought, to be the one in ten who DOES remember to thank another for their help.

  2. Mary Ann Black says:

    A Thank you takes such little time and can mean so much! It can really lift ones Spirit. Keep doing your good work Mary.

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