5 Degrees of Gratitude: A Lesson in What an Open Heart Breeds

When I was 12 years old, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. Tabby, as she was known to her grandchildren, was larger than life and was the glue that kept our family so tightly knit. She was loving, gregarious, preciously tacky and hugely supportive. So when the end seemed near, I was destroyed. At the suggestion of my mother, I wrote Tabby a note that spoke to how much I loved her. But I never gave it to her. Perhaps out of fear that it would make the situation real, I held on to the note. She died shortly thereafter, surrounded by her family and friends. While I expressed my love in her final days, I still feel guilty that she left not fully knowing how much she meant to me.

I tell this story because relationships matter. The fabric of who were are is shaped and guided by the people with whom we share our lives. And while we assume that our friends and family must know how much we appreciate them, there is a real emotional power to addressing them directly. Whether it’s thanking your mother for always being there or appreciating the help of a mentor, the simple act of expressing gratitude affects both the giver and the receiver.

That’s why we want to help you say thanks for your relationships. ThankView was designed to make saying thanks easy and enjoyable by recording personalized video messages spoken straight from the heart. And today, we want you to use it to start a positive chain of gratitude.

We are calling this Challenge the “5 Degrees Of Gratitude”. If we are successful, our messages of thanks will reach every corner of the world and let countless people know how much they matter.

Here’s how it works:
– Think of 5 people that have had an impact on your life, big or small
– Design your free ThankView cards and record a message of gratitude to each person (all you’ll need is their email)
– Press send
– Spread the word

Your expressions of gratitude will not only prove to be a cathartic and emotional gesture, it will urge your recipients to continue the chain and thank 5 more people. With any luck, this will all result in the deepening of relationships and a better understanding of how much we mean to one another.

I still think about my Tabby all the time. I’m reminded of what she gave me – a lesson in what an open heart breeds. She was never stingy with her gratitude or love. And as a result, she lived a life rich with genuine relationships. I may not have delivered that final note but I did learn an important lesson that Tabby had been teaching all along.

So take this moment to follow in those footsteps. Choose five people from every corner of your life and tell them how much they matter. What will take you 15 minutes will have a lifetime of impact. Spread the word using the #5degreesofgratitude hashtag and get your friends involved.


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