Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

Profound Gratitude

TOKYO, JAPAN—It seems to me that there’s a special kind of gratitude.

The kind that comes from deep within our hearts. The kind for exceptionally meaningful acts — big or small — that profoundly affect our lives in a moment, or that have lifted us slowly but persistently over the course of a long time. The kind we can only express sincerely in private or in prayer. The kind that is providential and has more gravity than a thank you card can convey.

The special kind of gratitude is what completes sentences that begin with “How did we get so lucky...”

It is the gratitude that stirs something pure within us and within the recipient of our appreciation. Perhaps most importantly, that gratitude is an unsought reward, a glorious blessing of a life consecrated to others.

We may never know, until we return to the embrace of our eternal father, the extent to which we have been a part of inspiring this profound gratitude in others. But even though we may never know in this lifetime if we have done a deed so noble and beautiful, is there a greater human endeavor?