I often complain about unpleasant behavior, and I realize I rarely compliment folks for the everyday niceties afforded me. This morning my physical therapist and her helpful husband (who drives me, as needed) brought me a lovely holiday bouquet of flowers. How do I adequately thank them for such thoughtfulness?

There are other people I should be thanking for their kindnesses. My newspaper delivery man always places my paper at my doorstep so I do not need to search for it outside. I have two weekly trash pick-up men who retrieve my garbage at my side door so I need not find someone to haul my garage cans to the street. There are also three very kind non-English speaking men who care for my lawn and do snow removal. They often ask if they can help me with anything else when they are here. 

I have a postal delivery person who always greets me with a pleasant smile and helps me with my mailings. Last but not least are the emergency services provided by the River Forest police and fire departments. They have helped me personally and also with wildlife that invaded my house: raccoons, a possum, and a squirrel … Oh My! 

I’m chagrined that I sometimes take these kindnesses for granted and sometimes forget to express my gratitude. Certainly, this should not be just a Christmas-time thought.

I often complain about our political leaders and forget to commend some of them when they take great steps to strengthen our democracy. Whether our leadership be Republican, Democratic, or Independent, I should acknowledge those who are the stabilizers of our nation. Just this week, Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois presented a stirring speech to Congress about American values that deserves our attention and gratitude. Unfortunately, Kinzinger chose not to run for re-election. We must hope and pray the representative who replaces him will have his vision, his knowledge, and the courage to fight those in Congress who desire the destruction of our democracy. 

I also need to thank you, the folks who read Wednesday Journal’s Viewpoints sections. These writings reveal how we who voice our opinions feel about various subjects. We often differ. That said, we use our writing to disagree without being disagreeable. I hope I can remember those everyday kindnesses on an everyday basis. 

In the meantime, I am grateful for all of my daily blessings and want to wish all of you kindness in your lives and happy holidays.

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