Gratitude is essential | Off the Cuff


Last updated 6/4/2020 at 12:52pm

Essential or nonessential business? Depends on who one asks and in what context.

Gratitude? It is well known that practicing gratitude helps people feel more positive, deal more effectively with adversity and build stronger relationships. So important especially in times like these, right?

But here’s the best part – gratitude has also been tied to improved immunity, something we could all use more of in order to kick this haunting COVID-19.

So, all of you with shutdown, nonessential businesses. Why not place gratitude at the very top of your list? What are you truly grateful for? And how do you show it?

Let’s see ... I’ll go first. Where would I start?

Dear small business:

After many years, it is high time to write to you and express the overflowing gratitude for all you have brought into the world, for all you have taught, and for all the people you have allowed to be served through you. You have been a great teacher and tremendous mentor.

Upon initial introduction, you were a bit threadbare and needed both an owner and new energy, the two things that made you approachable and available. Being young, green, and eager to grow and explore independently of the corporate world, the opportunity to bring you new life and gussy you up (mostly out of ego, which is something you have never had) was enticing.

With your help, and sometimes not-so-gentle nudges, learning to step out of the way and get some bigger picture perspective eventually allowed service to shine brightly. It did take a few lessons, but what a show!

Thank you for teaching opportunity, humility and patience.

Little did you and I know back then all we would have to offer each other, and that through our relationship a lot of growing up would happen. Imagine that. Originally, my goal was simply to begin to get to know you and prove that we could be bountiful partners within a couple of years.

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Now it’s been many years and we have been bountiful, and I now know you inside and out. To this day you never cease to surprise and amaze. You continue to teach every day, even when you are closed and they call you nonessential.

Thank you for exposing perseverance, loyalty, and resilience.

Remember the two little girls whose single mom taught them how to shop for her birthday?

They would come in by themselves with a $20 dollar bill and select a gift for her that we’d wrap together. Choosing the ribbon color that went on the package was a big deal for them. Mom always came in later to pick up the remaining tab.

Today, those “two little girls” have children of their own who they are no doubt teaching similar life lessons to, like the importance of giving, nurturing family relationships, remembering special dates, and shopping in one’s own community.

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Being able to learn right along side them has been such a treasure.

Gratitude is also due you because you have provided a place for friends to meet, for people to be encouraged, for creativity to flourish, for laughter and tears to flow. Together we’ve serviced women and men in all stages and walks of life.

We know, among other things, when a customer dies, when their oldest kid graduates college, when they’ve had to put their dog down, and where they are traveling to next. It’s called sharing everyday life. What a gift you bring and continue to bring. You have been one cool classroom! Thank you for the first class instruction.

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You see, when I first met you it was all about the product. It was only with the passing of time that it became clearly about servicing beautiful people in a community we know, love and belong to – the greatest gift of all – all because of you, a small business.

Together we’ve been able to change and improve lives and spread happiness. Good job! Thanks for allowing me to serve with you.

Intimate friendships like ours don’t happen every day. They take time to cultivate and nurture. Thanks for sticking with me while I have learned.

We’ve really made a good match.

And no matter what they say, you are essential. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

With deepest gratitude,

Small Business Owner

P.S. One more discovery. Gratitude is free, the more one practices it the more it grows, and it never goes out of style. Thanks for reading.

Off the Cuff is a monthly casual review of fashion styles, attitudes and trends by Jenny Murphy, owner of Sound Styles in Edmonds.


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