By Diego Nascimento

Throughout my life I have been practicing being thankful. Okay, I know this is a basic rule of life to have good everyday interpersonal relationships. At least in theory. I know people who are associated with a group who say, “He did no more than his obligation.”  I would like to challenge this kind of thinking. Whether it be in the line of kindness or part of the daily schedule of activities at work, a “Thank you” is the bridge to the much-needed sense of welcome in the postmodern era.

I would like to relate two experiences: one old and one recent. The first is an afternoon of conversation I had with former goalkeeper Taffarel. That’s right. Taffarel was the athlete who defended the penalties at the 1994 World Cup and was a member of the four-time national team in soccer. I remember, as if it were yesterday, the attitude of companionship and leadership he displayed. This was fundamental to the teamwork that resulted in one more title for Brazil. Years later, at a certain point in our conversation, I expressed my “Thank you” to the man who saw first-hand the Italian player Roberto Baggio miss a historic kick that would renumber the collection of stars on the left side of the shirt of the Brazilian National Soccer Team.

The second experience involves something unheard of. At seven years of age I suffered a fall in between classes. Like every kid I enjoyed running around the yard. But on that day I hit my left knee violently against the ground and instantly tears and a lot of pain became my companions. With complete maternal instinct, one of the canteen employees led me to a quieter place and, with homemade remedies prepared a refreshing drink that contributed significantly to calming me down and beginning to heal. This scene is etched in my mind. I changed schools and I never saw that lady again. Twenty-three years later, as I was walking down the street in my city, I recognized a face in her old age at the bus stop. This worker was waiting to be driven home. I did not think twice. I went to her and said, “You probably don’t remember who I am. Two decades ago your efforts brought peace to the heart of a little boy who was crying nonstop after a fall at school. That boy grew up and is here now to give you a heartfelt “Thank you very much. ” It was an emotional moment for both of us.

If in the workplace sincere kindness can make a difference, how much more when the Bible teaches us to always be thankful? The book of Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 18, begins with a direct and profound “In everything give thanks …”.I think this kind of attitude makes good sense for the people we are around on a daily basis.  Want a tip that is worth something? Make people around you aware of the benefits of being thankful. The rewards will be unimaginable. Put this into practice!

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