Showing Gratitude

Showing Gratitude
“No Man is an Island” is very true. None of us have ever achieved anything without having someone there to help us.
Research shows that one of the key characteristics of Happy people is that they show gratitude. To make it even better, the more gratitude they show, the Happier they get.
I know this is true, because I am a very Happy person, but on Saturday, September 8, 2018, I had an extremely Happy day. On that day, I showed gratitude to a very important person.
Freddy Jennings grew up in Fries, Virginia.
He was a soldier, serving in Korea. But he wasn’t just a soldier, he was a hero, and was awarded the Silver Star Medal for valor.
He was a VA Tech Hokie, graduating in 1962. But he wasn’t just a Hokie, he was an Ut Prosim Hokie.
He was a JV football coach. But he wasn’t just a JV Coach. He took a 98 pound freshman and gave him the confidence to play Varsity football.
He was a teacher. But he wasn’t just a teacher. He took a poor kid from Brush Creek, whose parents never finished the 8th grade, and gave him the confidence that he could attend VA Tech and get a Civil Engineering degree. He did this by making sure I had enough math, by teaching an advanced Math class to only one other student and me. He did this by taking me to my first VA Tech basketball game, and several afterwards. He took me to see the campus. He made sure I was hooked on the Hokies.
He did this for me, and he did this for dozens of other students from Fries.
Freddy L. Jennings died on April 10th of this year. I prayed for a way to show how thankful I am to this man.
So on September 8, 2018, in his honor, there were a dozen kids from Fries who were brought to their first VA Tech Football game. They were happy to be there. I was elated they were there.
There are many ways to show gratitude. I suggest you make it more personal than an email. Send a card, or actually write a letter. Send a small gift that would bring back memories of a special occasion you and the person experienced. If you really want to make them feel special, go for a visit and give them a small token of your love and appreciation.
I challenge you to go back into your deepest memories. Back as far as you can remember. Write down 20 people that went out of their way to help you. Send each of them a note telling them how you still think of them, and how thankful you are for what they did for you.
It will make them happy, and you even happier.
I’d love to hear some of the special ways you show gratitude.
I hope you’ll read my other blogs at

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About Jerry Haynes

OK, where do I start. I was born…., no that line has already been taken.Call me…, oops so has that one. Well, I won’t attempt to spout musical prose, and just be myself. I grew up in the small cotton mill town of Fries, VA. My parents were hardworking members of the middle class. They never earned more than a little over minimum wage, but I can never remember lacking for anything. After graduating from Fries High School in 1969, I started to VA Tech. After two years of partying (1st), going to movies (2nd), and studying, well, much further down the list, VA Tech decided I need a two year break to get my priorities straight. With a number 8 in the draft lottery, I knew that even if the Hokies didn’t want me, Uncle Sam did. I joined the US Navy. I got my priorities straight. I’m proud to be a Viet Nam veteran, but feel guilty I never got deployed. I graduated from Tech in 1977 with a BS in Civil Engineering. For the next 35 years I would work in both the private and public sectors. My first job took me to Tazewell County, Virginia where I soon joined the Jaycees. This ignited my passion for individual development. This passion still burns today.

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