Thanks a Thousand

I find saying “thank you” a real  chore, one I often put off so long I actually end up avoiding it completely. I know saying thanks can instantly change my thinking and my acting for the better. Knowing however for me is not doing. In his June 2018 TED Talk My journey to thank all the people responsible for my morning coffee, author AJ Jacobs tells about how his journey to say thanks woke him up to the tremendous inter-connectedness of us all.

Jacobs gives us five simple actions to try if we want to grow in awareness and thanks:

  1. “Look up
  2. Smell the roses, dirt and fertilizer
  3. Find the hidden masterpieces all around you
  4. Fake it until you feel it
  5. Practice six degrees of gratitude.”

This awareness Jacobs says leads us to wonder and joy. I experimented this past week, testing his claim. I got up one morning and even before my morning coffee, meditation or shower, I sat down and wrote a friend a thank you note. It worked! It truly started my day on a positive note, so much so that I vowed to do it every morning. I’m afraid, I already broke my vow, but now I have another something to work on. I hope you’ll hear more about this promise in the future.

Thank you for reading this far and Happy Thanksgiving 2018.

Posted by Dan O’Donnell, a layman who has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey

Thank You—The Perfect Prayer

I don’t often feel like a millionaire, in fact I probably more often feel like just another descendent of immigrant grandparents who is blessed with many gifts, i.e. an education, a roof over my head, healthy food to eat and a faith that tells me life is good. Despite this general feeling of well-being, I don’t often say thank you. I need times like our annual Thanksgiving rituals to remind me to do so.

Tania Luna did not experience life so good. At the age of six, as a refugee from the 1968 Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident she dreamt and hoped for a piece of of Bazooka bubble gum. Ten years after arriving in the United States, she decided to celebrate by returning to book a room at the first hotel they stayed in on coming to the U.S. only to find out it’s a homeless shelter. Tania’s July 2012 TED Talk, How a penny made me feel like a millionaire, reminds me to say thank you.

According to Beliefnet, Meister Eckhart (1260–1328) a mystical Dominican theologian said: “If the only prayer you say in your life is “thank you,” that would suffice.” (Passionists will note that St. Paul of the Cross was a follower of John Tauler (1300 – 1361) who was greatly influenced by Eckhart. Wikipedia tells us further that Tauler followed Eckhard in his work with pious lay groups called Friends of God, probably not unlike the Passionist Partners of today.)

Today, I will take the time to say thank you. Thank you to my family, my friends and my faith, all of whom support me and give me love, hope and a life filled with many blessings. Thank You!

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

Dan O’Donnell, a layman has covenanted with the Chicago Community. In addition to the standard covenant, Dan promises to work at connecting all partners known and unknown, to a conscious following the the way of Jesus, the way of the cross which Dan believes transforms all failure, democratizing the human journey