What I suddenly understood was that a thank-you note isn't the price you pay for receiving a gift, as so many children think it is, a kind of minimum tribute or toll, but an opportunity to count your blessings. And gratitude isn't what you give in exchange for something; it's what you feel when you are blessed - blessed to have family and friends who care about you, and who want to see you happy. Hence the joy from thanking.
Will Schwalbe, The End of Your Life Book Club.
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