Thanks a Million – on Gratitude

By October 2, 2013Inspiration

“What you do if someone gave you a million dollars?”

The Boy has been writing in his journal, doing his homework.  Deep in thought, but now he’s stumped. The Boy is nine.

The Boy is not my boy, but we’re on a friendly first-name basis. He’s half of my favorite father-son team, a couple of rough-and-tumble pulled-up-by-the-bootstraps fellas. They have quite a time, these two. Some tender, some tough-love. Sometimes I get to observe them make their way in the world.

The Boy repeats. “What you do if someone gave you a million dollars?”

Dad shifts his focus from the class he is teaching, focusing on his kid. “You asking me?” asks Dad.

“No. I’m asking me.” The Boy furrows his brow and considers his pencil.

“Well?” prods Dad, “What’s your first best answer?”

The Boy nods resolutely, bends over his journal, scribbling intensely. Dad glances over The Boy’s shoulder. Dad reads. Dad stops the class.

Dad is a teacher, guiding the steps of a group of non-traditional higher-education students on Tuesday evenings. The Boy is a regular fixture at the college, sometimes helping with the lessons, sometimes working on his own.

Dad calls his students close and poses the query to the class:
“What you do if someone gave you a million dollars?”

Their answers are traditional variations on a theme.
I’d buy. I’d share. I’d save. I’d be.
They stand in a circle, each holding sway for a moment with his or her momentous answer.

“Boy,” says Dad. “Tell ‘em what you’d do if someone gave you a million dollars.”

The Boy looks up and blinks.  He gets it.  It’s obvious.  “I’d say thank you.”


What is your obvious “aha!” of gratitude from today?  I’m interested.  Tell me.

You get it, you got it, go get ’em.