Gratifying - giving pleasure or satisfaction (Merriam-Webster Online)
Gratitude - the state of being grateful: thankfulness (Merriam-Webster Online)
This week I travelled up to Scotland to speak at Glenalmond College, near Perth.
I WAS IN AWE !!
Snowcapped mountains surrounded the little green valley the school sat snuggly in. The trees, still bare from winter, created patches of patterned shade. They revealed the tender shoots of flowers struggling to grow out of the snow hardened soil. The drive, a long pale gravelly thing, snaked it's way through the grounds, before rounding a gentle corner to unveil the majesty of the nearly two hundred year old building that housed the school.
The students were dressed in thick woolen blazers - the boys in black trousers, the girls in long black skirts. Their faces clear, eager, ready to face the future with such hope . . . and longing.
The air was crisp, the sky such a bright, pale blue, people hovering, walking, marching; the school was a hive of activity.
I spoke to the lower sixth-formers; it was a dream, an experience, an engagement with these up-and-coming human beings that I will never forget . . . and I now have confirmation that at least one of them will never forget either.
When I arrived home on Wednesday evening from Scotland, it was to an email from one of the students. Here is an excerpt -
"Your talk was so inspirational and you truly are a marvel and a wonderful human being - your determination and outlook really rang true with me and actually made me stop and think about some situations in my own life and how to tackle them."
This email was gratifying . . . and it made me feel gratitude for being able to make a difference in the world. It has made me see that in giving pleasure, motivation, and inspiration, you actually get these things circled back to you three-fold.
What has been gratifying for you? And what are you feeling gratitude for today?