EDITORIAL: Grateful for our blessings, for the people who give

Volunteer Lou Marocco, of Niskayuna, carries a box of yogurt to a car
ERICA MILLER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Volunteer Lou Marocco, of Niskayuna, carries a box of yogurt to a car

Be grateful for gratitude.

That sounds like something old New York Yankees sage Yogi Berra might say.

But as we take this one special day out of our year to give thanks, gratitude is a gift we can share.

We at The Gazette like to run letters to the editor and High Notes in which people thank strangers for doing something nice for them.

One person wrote recently to thank postal workers and all the delivery people who make sure we get our packages and gifts all year long.

The writer pointed out their long hours and difficult work, and just wanted to convey his thanks and to invite others to share their gratitude for their service.

Another wrote recently to thank Schenectady police for their concern and sensitivity after their son died unexpectedly of a medical condition.

It was a difficult day, and the officers went beyond their tasks at hand to be extra kind to a grieving family.

Even in their distress, they wanted to say how they appreciated the effort.

The class advisers for the Johnstown Class of 2022 in a letter over the summer thanked those who made the recent prom so special for the school’s juniors and seniors, noting that students have had a long, hard year and that the volunteers’ commitment to the children in the community was truly appreciated.

One woman from Rotterdam was grateful for the patience and helpfulness of a store employee who helped her resolve an issue with a grocery delivery.

The writer didn’t expect the employee to even call her back, much less ensure the delivery of all the groceries, along with a gift certificate for her troubles. She called this employee “an angel.”

Gratitude is sometimes most satisfying when it’s unexpected.

In a recent High Notes column —in which each Monday we highlight the good works being done in our community — the grandchild of a woman who fell in a local store wanted to thank the anonymous patron who called for help and who comforted her grandmother until the ambulance arrived.

The granddaughter said in a Facebook post that the family was not only grateful for the patron’s assistance, but also for making sure that their grandmother knew she wasn’t alone in her time of distress.

These are the kinds of actions that we often take for granted.

Someone holding a door while we’re carrying an armload of packages.

A fellow driver letting us into traffic after we’ve been sitting their forever.

A delivery person making sure the package is left inside the door so it won’t get wet.

The thing we have to remember is that nobody is obligated to do anything for us.

Members of the military, firefighters, police and other emergency responders take on their dangerous responsibility because they care about people, and are willing to put their lives on the line because of it.

Doctors and nurses and other medical professionals don’t often get into their positions for the money, and whatever they’re making is very likely not enough for the skills and stress of their jobs.

They don’t always have to be so patient and understanding of our situation. But boy to we need them to be.

Delivery people, store employees, government workers, strangers in the produce aisle, they could all just go about their business. But they stop to help.

Have you seen what school teachers have to deal with these days?

These super-heroes don’t turn it off when the final bell rings for the day. The job was difficult in the past, but it isn’t even close to what it was two years ago.

Think of all the volunteers working in soup kitchens delivering or serving Thanksgiving dinner to those less fortunate today.

Think of anyone who volunteers in their community, whether it be staffing the grill at a charity barbecue, attending to others in their church or community group, collecting food at a food drive or dressing up as Santa at the downtown festival to put a smile on the faces of children.

We’re so lucky we have people for whom to show gratitude that gratitude itself is a gift.

For all the people in our lives —family members, friends and complete strangers — who take the time to make our lives a little easier, a little safer or a little more special, today is for you.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

We hope you’ll take time to count your blessings, whatever they may be, no matter how big or small.

Life itself is a blessing.

And remember to thank those who give selflessly of themselves.

We are so grateful for all you do.

Categories: Editorial, Opinion


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