"Want to know what really grabbed me when I got your package? It was addressed to me. My name was on the box. It wasn't just a box. It was my box. I wasn't just any soldier, I was somebody, I am somebody. B.W."
This is a true testimonial from the website Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends gift boxes* to US soldiers at war. There were a number of responses from the military over there, but this one grabbed me.
Gratitude is a funny thing. It can't be forced on anyone. As this quote so aptly describes, gratitude flows more freely when a person feels like a "somebody" as a result of a gift.
I've been in the position of being both a giver and a receiver in my life. And when I freely give of my services, time or other resources, I appreciate when people say thank you, but I've learned not to expect it. After all, don't they say that it's a gift to be in the position to give?
*(Operation Gratitude also collect items for recycling, including cell phones, ink cartridges, old ipods, old video games, etc. so if anyone's kids are sitting around bored, collecting those items and forwarding them would be a great project!)
[visual description: A Marine private poses with the contents of a gift box sent by Operation Gratitude, including DVD's and a player.]