Nobody knows who created this day or even why. Why it comes and goes without much fanfare or acknowledgement in January is also a mystery. Timed perhaps to mark the need to “return to normal” after the excesses of the period Black Friday through Christmas to the revelling of the New Year, it strikes me as woefully understated a day of acknowledgement.
For the last fifteen years we have tried to note this day, January 11th, as a day to give and encourage others to give thanks and show gratitude for all those people who have formed and contributed to their circle of being in the year just passed; those who, in visible and invisible ways, contribute to the creation of the fabric of our families, communities and places of belonging.
I can’t help but remember this day every New Year and use it solemnly to reflect on all that I am thankful for. I first learned about it existence in December 2004 when the world was hit by the Boxing Day Tsunami and everybody wanted to give. GreaterGood’s online giving portal had just recently gone live and the engagement with people so generous and willing to assist was incredible. It was in trying to determine how to express thanks to all those amazing and generous people, that we discovered this day as a day for expressing gratitude and appreciation. It has remained the first Calendar day of note in our New Year.
So, might I take a moment of your time to thank you – to intentionally remember, honour and be grateful for you and all you have done in support of ourselves, our teams, beneficiaries and the spaces and places in which we work. Your being, actions, words (and silences) have contributed lovingly to the lives of many, enriching them and even making them beautiful.