top of page

Ripples Far and Wide

Tears of joy lead to answering the question "What's the point?" The universe has impeccable timing. Gratitude and appreciation keep the ripples spreading far and wide.

I will unabashedly admit that I cried tears of joy yesterday. After the second instance, my husband grabbed a box of tissues and placed them in my lap, even as I waived him off saying it was not necessary.

I certainly didn’t expect my day to turn out that way.

Earlier that day I was in front of my computer, making a list of things to be done. One of those things was to write a post for this blog for Sunday. I sighed and contemplated skipping a blog post. With such a long to-do list, and a beautiful spring day to enjoy, I thought to myself, “What’s the point?”

Of course, I should have known better than to internalize such a question.

The universe answered.

And in a way I never expected.

Some of you may know that an article of mine, “The Little Things Nurses Do”, was published in the March 2023 issue of the American Journal of Nursing. In summary, this article was my way of showing appreciation for all the little things nurses do. Personal and heartfelt, I hoped its words would find the intended recipients.

In that aspect, it overwhelmingly did.

No sooner had I thought “What’s the point?” about writing the next post, did I receive a notification of an email. And after that, I received another notification. Both were from nurses, one known to me and another not, who had read the article and took time out of their day to express appreciation for the words in the article. How much it touched them deeply and encapsulated the often overlooked impact their everyday, ordinary work has on others.

In answer to my question, the universe answered, “This is the point.”

Let’s take a quick detour for a minute.

How many times have you been waiting in line at a store and glanced at all the assorted goods they have strategically placed to entice you to add yet one more thing to your cart?

In certain stores, it always seems that these items include coffee mugs, candles, random jewelry, socks, and journals. Now inevitably, the journals will be a mix of notepads, planners, and gratitude journals. I will admit that while I practice gratitude internally, I have never purchased a gratitude journal.

There is intrinsic value in practicing gratitude. After all, being thankful for any variety of things is meditative and humbling.

But gratitude without expressing appreciation seems somewhat…well…lacking.

We can write a list of things we’re thankful for, but if we never express that gratitude the proverbial circle stops short. The wheels stop spinning.

Think of a time you received an unexpected thank you. Not the passing “thank you” in the hall, but a more meaningful expression. Maybe it was a heartfelt note, or flowers, or a gift card. My guess is that it brightened your day. You felt valued, seen. And everyone else who crossed your path that day had the benefit of a better day.

Gratitude combined with expressions of appreciation ripples beyond the reach we ever thought possible. Smiles increase, moods lift, random acts of kindness follow. We are better versions of ourselves.

I wrote that article as an expression of appreciation to nurses who have done and continue to do so much. I never expected it to resonate and for appreciation to circle back.

It changed my day. My heart was full. And it told me unequivocally, that is the point.

And so this writer would like to ask you to do one thing today. Not tomorrow, today.

Write a note to someone who has done something for you. Something that meant more than they likely knew. Something that made your day better, brighter.

Give them that note.

Keep the ripples spreading far and wide.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page