>>  Sunday, September 29, 2013

I found out something quite special this week and to the one person that knows about it I want to say  "I wrote this before I knew." To everyone else I say "wait a while and I will share with you too."

I thrive on acknowledgement.  I can do anything but I need someone to notice I've done it once in a while.

I do a lot of stuff in the background, a lot of Assistant Guiders do.  It's a bit like being the wife, you put the washing in, the ironing happens, food appears in the fridge.  No one really notices, in fact you'd probably have to be dead for a few weeks for the family to realise these things had ceased to happen.  I reckon a lot of Guiding is the same.

Sometimes it feels like a thankless drudge and you wonder why you bother.

And one of the big problems is most Guiders are in the same boat and we can't go around patting each other on the back all the while.  If nothing else we'd all get sore backs but mainly it would start to feel like empty words.

I try thank my WiseOwl Guider in Charge at Brownies as often as I can by giving her badges whenever I find a novel one, by always trying to respond to her requests for ideas or help and generally trying to 'do' when needed.  She in return will offer me cake and an ear when it is needed, and her life is already fully to brimming so it's a big give.

I don't think I thank the Guider In Charge at Senior Section at all and yet she worked hard to arrange our Wellies and Wristbands trip in the summer and numerous camps all year.  I should make more of an effort.

I worked my socks off for JailBreak, and I don't know what I expected back in return, except lots of self feel good but I felt thoroughly flat at the end of it all, in fact I still don't actually know how many points the team scored.  But then something happened.  The County Commissioner sent me a a thank you card. She didn't have to, I don't know how she found the time to do it but I keep having a sneaky peek at it and it makes me feel so valued. 

And then something else happened...

Whilst away at Wellies and Wristbands we met the Chief Guide, in fact the Rangers had their photo taken with her and she gave us all a Chief Guide badge.   A great honour.  And then one of our Rangers accidentally flushed her badge down the loo....don't ask...there is a lengthy and justifiable story but just don't ask!  I wrote to CHQ when we were back to ask if there was a way I could buy one to replace it and an amazing thing happened, I got a response from both the Chief Guide and the Chief Executive. Both of them personally cared enough to send a new badge.  Which was duly presented to the Loo Ranger!

I felt valued.  I felt worthy of a response from very busy people that probably have many more important things to deal with.  It was a thanks to take me another mile.

I was asked this week to contribute to a thank you gift for a Guider.  Initially I wondered whether it was necessary.  I don't feel good about that gut reaction.  Giving thanks often feels better than getting thanks.  Of course I joined in.  But the initial reaction set me thinking a lot about 'thanks'.

Acknowledgement matters.

Sometimes you wonder whether what you do makes a difference to the world. After all, we are a small speck in a huge machine but we all have some value to add. 

I don't say thank you enough.


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