08 June 2008

The "Thank You" Project

"Teach us to count the days,
Teach us to make the days count..."

---Chris Rice

I am still amazed and saddened by the untimely passing of Kathy Krajco. I find myself wondering if she knew just how much good she was doing in the world, if she had any idea how many people she helped, not only through her sites on Narcissistic Personality Disorder but also through her sites on writing and on tennis strategy.

Even from the grave, she continues to inspire.

In the past three weeks, I have found myself doing something that I've previously lacked the courage to do. I have begun telling people in my life whom I greatly admire... that I greatly admire them. I have been writing to people who have made a difference in my life, or a difference to my life, and thanking them.

Writing to authors whose work has inspired me. To musicians whose voices comforted me or drew my pain out of hiding so that I could see its face. To public figures who have been exemplars to me of wisdom, or courage, or grace.

Interestingly, the same inhibition that often kept me from doing this previously is still very much in place - the sense that, of course, none of these people have any idea who I am, and that there is no reason on earth that I, Stormchild, should matter to them; the fact that a total stranger happens to respond in a certain way to their work can hardly be of interest to them.

In other words, the admirable dignity and courage of some of my realspace acquaintances is not about me; the simple basic decency of others is not about me; the writing, the music, of the artists whose lifes' work has touched and inspired me isn't about me.

I know this; so it seems presumptuous of me to write and thank them for it.

And yet...

I think of Mike, Claire's friend, and his grave illness, and her kindness. And someone who sounds quite a bit like C.S. Lewis sits up in my skull and says to me:
"Just because some of these people who inspire you are famous and successful, do you think they won't appreciate kind thanks? That they only accept compliments from personal friends? You can thank them with tact, and decorum, and appropriate restraint, but still be obviously sincere in your thanks.

"And how do you know that a stranger's simple gratitude might not be the very thing they need most, on that very day? As long as you do this purely as an act of gratitude, truly wanting nothing but to express your thanks, you are giving a gift to those who have been gifts and blessings to you."
So... the Kathy Krajco Memorial Gratitude Project has begun.

God willing, I will write to - and sincerely thank - each person who has touched my life and made it in some way better for their having been a part of it. A simple casting of bread upon the waters -

because life means so much.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that anxiety. I once wrote to a psychologist living in Melbourne, after reading her book on panic disorders and thanking her for being one of a few doctors to publicly warn people about going into the mental health system without knowing its dangers.

I heard nothing back, and felt stupid writing it, but ultimately, what do I have to be embarassed about. We don't do good deeds to be made a fuss of, I guess we do them for the sake of the truth, and our own consciences, which move us to thank those who have blessed us.

Keep up the good work.

09 June, 2008 01:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Stormchild,

I can very much relate to the subject you have written about, and the feelings. So again, though
I've said thank you in the past, I will again thank you for touching my life, because you truly have. I'm sure that you've touched many others as well.

"Friend In The Desolate Time" on your "Strange Mercy" blog was a comforting read. Yes, with all the joys, and all the sorrows, life means so much. As do you.

Grateful hugs,

11 June, 2008 09:46  
Blogger Stormchild said...

Thanks Meg, thanks C.

It goes without saying that I'm thankful for you, both, very much, but I'm going to say it anyway.



11 June, 2008 22:59  
Blogger CZBZ said...

Dear Stormchild,

You have made a difference in my life for the short time we've known one another. I feel more confident because of you and I am getting smarter because of you, too. ha!

There's not a day goes by that I don't think about Samizdat and the No Talk Rule. (even though I started breaking that rule quite awhile ago!)

I am so grateful to know you, even if we've never met.


27 June, 2008 16:11  
Blogger Stormchild said...

CZ, I am very, very glad that you exist, and that you have chosen to set up a Web site and to blog, and that I know you, cyberwise, too.

Hugs right back -- Storm

01 July, 2008 21:13  

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