"It's Good That You Came"

Smaller Doses of Life and Leadership by Jerry Rosenthal

Welcome to my first Dose. It’s good that you came to consider what I have to share with you on your journey. It has been six months since my father passed away and my book “Small Doses: Common Sense to Common Practice” was published. I thought it would be somewhat symbolic to launch at this time.

So, here we go……….

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

In April of this year, my father passed away at the age of 80. He hadn’t been in the best of health and was in a nursing home for the last 20 months of his life. He went quickly and painlessly, and I am grateful that I was able to be there to say goodbye.

In the Jewish tradition, it is customary to have the funeral as soon as possible, allowing out of town mourners some time to travel and be there for the ceremony. And upon completion of the burial, begins a seven-day period of mourning called Shiva. Daily prayers are conducted from the home of the deceased (in this case the home where he and my mother lived together for nearly 50 years.)

Upon the completion of prayers on the first day, as people were leaving the home, I said to a fellow mourner (unconsciously), “Thank you for coming.” What happened next was one of those teachable moments which starts the process of opening your eyes to so many valuable lessons.

I’ll start by telling you about my cousin, Irwin. To me, he is a sage, a wise man, a good soul, an old soul, full of wisdom which he dispenses sparingly, yet at the precise moment when it is needed the most. He was there and this was that moment. He looked at me from just a few feet away and said “Instead of saying thank you for coming, it might be better to say, it’s good that you came.” He proceeded to tell me that this was wisdom that his father, my Uncle Jack, shared with him many years ago. And then Irwin added why (because when you know the why behind anything, you gain a deeper understanding vs. doing something blindly.)

This is when growth occurs - connecting the what and the why.

And this is an important lesson in both Life and Leadership.

When someone does a mitzvah (a good deed), should they be thanked for it or simply have it acknowledged? Instead of thanking someone for coming to a house of mourning, should it be verbally recognized in a way that shows a person is serving the mourners, honoring the deceased and being part of what the community does for those in time of need, such as providing strength and support?

So, instead of “Thank you for coming”, perhaps it might be better said as “It’s good that you came.” You did a mitzvah. You served and supported the community which does the same for you in your time of need.

For some reason, in that moment, this phrase hit me hard and made me wonder about the phrase “Thank you” and its use. Is it used properly? It is over used? Does it convey gratitude in the proper way? What meaning does it really convey? And what are the implications and practical uses of this phrase in other areas of life?

I ride the bus frequently and when I get off at my stop and I walk by the driver, I always say “thank you.” Why? Because he or she got me to my destination safely and I have gratitude that he or she got me to my destination without me having to worry about it. My focus and attention were on other things and I let the driver focus on one thing where I did not have to expend any mental energy.

What about when I volunteer to do some work in the community? Should I be thanked by the organizers or would it be better conveyed as “It’s good that you came”? To me this feels different and conveys a sense of something beyond just me. A sense of something much bigger and much more important. The deeper sensation of giving of the self in a way that can be recognized in a more profound way.

Thoughts? I ask that you do some self-reflection and think about those times when you say “Thank you” and consider if you might better use the phrase “It’s good that you came.”

I hope you enjoyed my first Dose and have something new to consider along your journey of life. If you know of someone who might gain some benefit from this Dose, please share it and encourage them to sign-up.

If you are interested in learning more about me and my work, check out my website.

Jerry's Website

Also consider purchasing and reading my book, Small Doses: Common Sense to Common Practice, available in print and eBook formats exclusively on amazon.com. Click on the link below to purchase your copy today.

Until next time……….

Small Doses available on Amazon