by Diego Nascimento

Did you know that worldwide there are over 6900 languages ​​still spoken? So says the Ethnologue compendium, published by a North American publisher which organizes through surveys, maps and charts the verbal communication on this planet that is home to more than 7 billion people. Amid so many words I would draw your attention to a number of letters and vowels that can leave you in “shock” depending on the approach.

Professor Antonio Novoa, a professor teaching at the Institute of Education, University of Lisbon, Portugal, recently shared the results of his research on the word gratitude. In the video, Anthony tells about the preparation of a master class at the University of Brasilia, where he decided to speak of The Virtue of Gratitude written by Thomas Aquinas. The document, written in the Middle Ages, cites three levels / stages of being thankful. It works like this: the first phase is shallow and the focus is on intellectual recognition. The second is intermediate and corresponds to thanking someone for something done repetitively, on a daily basis. The third is considered the most profound: it is when we create an emotional bond with the person or group and literally thank them from the heart. Professor Nóvoa closed the presentation by saying that the term ‘Thank you’ (Obrigado) in Portuguese, is able to express clearly the essence of the third level of gratitude.

My life experience, which so far comes down to only 30 years, shows that gratitude can even be broken down into degrees, but, regardless of linguistic origin, is a staple for human relationships. I’ve had the chance to thank and receive thanks in multiple languages ​​and I can say one thing: the sincerity of this expression lies with the person who, without expecting something in return, expresses gratitude for seemingly insignificant things. Scenes like this can be seen in events within our own families and even individuals who can barely write their own name.

It is with this in mind that I would like to give my sincere thanks for the chance to, every 15 days, visit with you through my articles that are shared via e-mail and website. In many cases this partnership has been for a full five years and already has loyal readers in over 20 countries, distributed in every continent of this planet surrounded by oceans so blue and with a wide cultural diversity. The site, sent out in Portuguese and English, has shown a positive connection between different peoples at a time when the ability to sit and share is dissipating.

I will close this text “piggybacking” on the third level of gratitude proposed by Thomas Aquinas and expressing in the most sincere and direct way imaginable my “Thank you!” (Obrigado)

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