Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Gratitude Campaign

A Simple Gesture from the Heart Says it All



Shortly after 9/11, I began a practice of approaching military personnel whenever I see them in public to thank them for serving for us. Most times, it has been a wonderful experience for both of us. Occasionally, however, it has felt a bit awkward, for reasons that are not always apparent in the moment. Other times, I couldn’t muster up the nerve to approach them at all. What has been consistent is that every time I’ve done it, they seem very appreciative of the gesture, and I have always felt better for having expressed my gratitude.

It can be difficult for some people to approach strangers this way, because many of us have been socialized since childhood not to talk to people we don’t know, much less open our hearts to thank them for defending our very freedom to be whoever we want to be.

My occasional reluctance and awkwardness in these situations made me think that it would be nice if we civilians had a gesture or sign, similar to a military salute, that we could use to express our gratitude quickly and easily, without having to even approach a stranger. I did some research and found a sign that originated in 18th-century France. The Sign, which some are now calling The Gratitude Sign, begins by placing your hand over your heart, and then bringing your hand down and out in front of you, bending your arm at the elbow (not the wrist), and ending with your hand at about your belly button, slightly facing the person you wish to thank. Fully translated, it means, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

My next challenge was how to spread the message. I called a client, the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks, and told them I wanted to share this sign with people as a means of expressing their gratitude when circumstances might not allow for a verbal thank-you. The Seahawks suggested that I make a short video they could air during their games. So, I partnered with Amy Sedgwick of Mouse House Productions, in Seattle, to create the video(s) at GratitudeCampaign.org. Since our video first aired in 2007, an estimated 30 to 40 million people have seen it, and many are now using The Sign throughout the world.

I’m often asked if The Sign is limited to honoring military personnel. Not at all. Look around, and I’m sure that you’ll find lots of people who are serving our communities, from local to global. If you appreciate their service, give them The Sign. Say, “Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”

 Scott Truitt is the founder of www.GratitudeCampaign.org.

Welcome to Natural Awakenings Online

October Issue

Transformative Travel
& Chiropractic

Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »Features

Creating Community

Creating Community

15 Ways to Craft a Circle of Caring
With simple, clear steps and procedures, we can build bonds with our neighbors to create a better tomorrow together.
Soul Shine

Soul Shine

Spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson points out that it is our light, not darkness, that most frightens us.
Feline Workforce

Feline Workforce

Why a Job is the Cat’s Meow
Cats now star in tasks ranging from boosting office morale to providing private security.
Transformative Travel

Transformative Travel

Outer Adventures, Inner Journeys
When we set our intention, open up to the unexpected and chat with locals, travel offers us life-changing gifts.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Editor's Picks

Spring’s In Full Swing at  Hilltop Hanover Farm

Spring’s In Full Swing at Hilltop Hanover Farm

Learn how to grown your own food or reserve an organic CSA.
Natural Fertility

Natural Fertility

Whole-Body Wellness with an Integrative Approach
Stay Healthy This Winter:  Tips from Local Wellness Experts

Stay Healthy This Winter: Tips from Local Wellness Experts

Integrative Medicine, Homeopathy and Ayurveda wisdom from Westchester, NY professionals
Four Ways to Light(en) Up Your Life

Four Ways to Light(en) Up Your Life

In an increasingly unpredictable world where anxiety and insecurity abound, where can we turn to find peace and happiness?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »Global Briefs

Fare Price

Save on Holiday Plane Tickets

Eco Sneakers

Biodegradable Reeboks Help Solve Waste Problem

Resource Saver

Innovative Building Material Trumps Concrete

Saving Salmon

Court Removes Manmade Barriers

American Roots

Columbus Day Renamed to Honor First Peoples

Migrating Trees

Forests Shift West with Climate Change
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »Health Briefs

Resveratrol May Help Eye Health

Resveratrol May Help Eye Health

Prevents Glaucoma, Cataracts and Macular Degeneration
Music Soothes Pain after Surgery

Music Soothes Pain after Surgery

Listening to Tunes Eases Discomfort
Banning Trans Fats Lowers Heart Attacks

Banning Trans Fats Lowers Heart Attacks

Prohibiting Ingredient Protects Cardiac Health
Walking Reduces Symptoms of Dementia

Walking Reduces Symptoms of Dementia

Improves Focus and Decision-Making
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Spotlight

Creating Community

Creating Community

15 Ways to Craft a Circle of Caring
With simple, clear steps and procedures, we can build bonds with our neighbors to create a better tomorrow together.
Local Natural Awakenings Magazines
Natural Health Magazine Franchise

Marketplace

Advertisement