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Grade 8 Student Martha Sheets “Thankful” Address to Middle School Chapel

17 November 2011 admin 3,970 views One Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Introduction by Mike Allison, Middle School Assistant Principal

Over the past couple of weeks, our Chaplains have encouraged us to think, live and act with a sense of goodness from within. Father Phil De Vaul encouraged all of us to live by three rules as we interact in the world, “1. Be kind. 2. Be kind. 3. Be kind.” Father James Livingston encouraged everyone to look at their daily lives in a different way; perhaps see the ordinary as extraordinary in some way. Similarly, Mother Mary Marjorie Bethea told a story of humility and thoughtfulness during the highs and lows of life and encouraged us to pause and think about how humble we truly are. Kindness, optimism, humility and thoughtfulness are four traits that Grade 8 student Martha Sheets has exhibited here at St. Margaret’s since she joined our community last year. When Martha expressed that she would be honored to speak to the Middle School during one of our Monday Chapels, many ideas were discussed as she tried to determine a message that would be meaningful. Ultimately, she landed on the concept of gratitude and what that means and looks like on a daily basis. As Martha suggested in her talk this week in Chapel, just as our Chaplains before her explained, “have a joyful heart,” and “let your actions speak louder than your words.” Martha is a wise young lady and she has given us all something to think about as we approach Thanksgiving and consider how we express our gratitude for the things that make us truly thankful.

“Thankful” Address to Middle School Chapel
By Martha Sheets, Grade 8

In light of the fact that Thanksgiving is arriving soon, it would be a good reminder to talk about gratitude.

When we were toddlers learning to talk, some of the first words we learned were “please” and “thank you.” It was just good manners and we grow up learning to say “thank you” constantly. Of course you can always say “thank you very much” or “I appreciate that” or phrase it some other way, but to say it is easy. How can we show our thanks through our actions? Compare how many times you say “thank you” to how many times we show we are thankful.

I have always heard throughout my life that actions are louder than words. Honestly, words are easier than actions, but I want to encourage us to think more about acting our gratefulness and to think about what they might look like if we did.

What are you thankful for? If you are thankful for our school, you would be aware of small things like keeping the campus clean, participating in activities and lending a hand to a teacher or staff person. Protect the reputation of our school and say good things about it to others.

If you’re grateful to have food and a home, see what you can provide to those who don’t enough to eat. There are needs all around us – even here in South Orange County.

If you are thankful for your friends, treat them with respect. We can purposely treat people better and we all know that.

Develop and share an “attitude of gratitude” — others will see your positive perspective and it will give you a more cheerful heart. When we demonstrate our thankfulness, we become better people and we feel better about ourselves. You don’t need to possess loads of things to keep yourself happy, if you are thankful and joyful for the things that you already have you won’t feel you need to fill your life with empty possessions that temporal. A grateful heart is a joyful heart, a light that won’t go out.

It is hard not to be grateful when you step back and look at the bigger picture. If you look at all you’ve been blessed with and how little others have, you can see the gratitude that you will have and that you can share with others.

This Thanksgiving, while we are sharing a table full of delicious food, let’s all try to act on our thankfulness. Look for ways to do more than just say “thank you” – it will benefit you in the long run

Thankful: expression of appreciation from your heart by acting in goodness or kindness towards others.


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One Comment »

  • Darla Magana said:

    Very inspiring Martha. I’m thankful that you were willing to share your thoughts with us.