“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

– John F. Kennedy

In the grand canvas of life, the words “thank you” are often painted with the simplest brush stroke, a verbal artwork of gratitude. Yet, as we splatter this colorful acknowledgment around, let’s not forget the importance of aligning our actions with those uttered words. Actions are the masterpieces in the gallery of life that illustrate our deepest appreciation.

Expressing gratitude is like lighting a candle in the darkness. It’s the warm, radiant glow that brightens the world around us, echoing our recognition and appreciation. But true gratitude is not just the flickering flame, it’s the actions that keep the wick burning.

True appreciation is not simply verbalized; it’s acted upon. It’s an action, a behavior, a way of life. It’s using the words “thank you” as a blueprint to build our actions, to sculpt our behavior. It’s crafting a lifestyle that is consistent with the acknowledgment we express. Like a dancer whose moves match the rhythm of the music, so should our actions dance in time with our words of gratitude.

Every uttered “thank you” is a seed we plant. But without watering it with actions, without nurturing it with deeds, that seed merely remains dormant in the soil of good intentions. To cultivate an orchard of gratitude, we must not just sow seeds of appreciation, but also water them with consistent action.

When we say “thank you,” we must ensure we aren’t just painting a beautiful sky with words, but we’re also crafting the landscape with actions. So, as we express our gratitude, remember: the highest appreciation is not in the utterance of words, but in living by them.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.