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  Thursday January 29th, 2015    

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Here’s your sign (01/30/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns

“Kudos!” “God bless you!” “You’re the best!” “I couldn’t have done it without you!” “You’ve made my day!” etc. etc. etc!

It would be accurate to say that most of us are flattered by compliments, and appreciate gratefulness shown for our efforts, but then there’s that Bible verse that says we should not let our right hand know what our left hand is doing. That’s about as humble as anyone can get!”

Nothing should be done solely for personal glory and honor. As we try to impress somebody, our good deed turns stale.

Truly blessed by those we care for: As life moves on, we all glean a certain portion of thanks, depending on how involved we’ve become in the lives of others. The elderly, the lonely, and the ailing, who we visit, pray for, and see to the welfare of, feel deeply indebted to those who have played a major role in their well-being, often to the point of feeling extreme guilt. Many can’t seem to understand that the giver is also a receiver.

Touched by an angel: I discovered Chandra Greer’s captivating story in the February issue of Guideposts, entitled “It Starts With Thank You.” Her journey to a new adventure began with the word “civility.” Some would remark, “Nobody uses that word anymore!” Sadly, few practice politeness, courtesy, tact, and graciousness. What’s wrong with that picture?

Back in 1997, Greer, from Chicago, was climbing the corporate ladder as an advertising executive, but she felt unfulfilled, daydreaming about ways she might use her creative talent to open a business of her own. With the encouragement of her husband Steve, Greer quit her job, and prayed for guidance.

A leap of faith: The successful entrepreneur shares the catalyst that opened the door to her new, artistic adventure: “One day I was in my favorite store, poking around. Paper from all over the world, brightly colored journals, amazing gifts and the most charming thank-you cards I’d ever seen. I must’ve spent an hour browsing – I couldn’t get enough of the stuff!” All tied up in ribbons and bows, stuck by glue guns and , and dizzy with ideas, prayer paid off for the lady with the gift of words. This was it!

The heart of the matter: Just a year and a half after leaving her advertising job, she and Steve opened Greer. It’s been thriving for eleven years now. Chandra’s instinct concerning her hidden talents is right on! Their best selling product, the “civilette” had been born quite by accident. Greer had spilled the contents of an overstuffed bag in the middle of the street as she tried to open her car door. A stranger came to her rescue and helped her pick it up. As Greer thought about the incident later, she was upset that she didn’t get the lady’s name and address so she could send her a thank you card.

A message to recycle: Civilettes were born of a happenstance, a charitable moment between two strangers. The size of a business card, each civilette has “Thank You,” “I love You,” “I’m Sorry,” or “Good Job” printed on the front and “Please reuse” on the back. Each pack has the message, ”Use in the event of a kind deed or word from stranger or friend.” They’ve already sold 15,000 packs!

“You’re never too busy to say thank you!” Chandra’s Mom used to tell her that. She wrapped up her Guidepost story so beautifully, I can’t resist passing it along. A person like Chandra Greer surely wouldn’t mind spreading her success story.

She said, “I think when we let people know how much we appreciate them, it helps us to recognize just how blessed we are.”


I send warm wishes to all those who have corresponded with me through my columns.

Carpe diem! I can be reached at patandjanburns@embarqmail.com



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