Do you remember that song written by Henley and Silbar and made popular by Bette Midler titled “You are the Wind Beneath my Wings” ? It starts, “So I was the one with all the glory, While you were the one with all the strain.” It is a great song to sing at graduation ceremonies to acknowledge all that the parents did for the students. “It might have appeared to go unnoticed,” she sings, “But I’ve got it all inside my heart. I want you to know the truth. I would be nothing without you.”
Who has been the wind beneath your wings? Who has stood in your shadow when you received all the glory? What sacrifices did that person make for your benefit? Was it a parent? A brother or sister, aunt/uncle, or grandparent? A coach? What did they do for you?
If that person is still alive, make a phone call to them today, or send a letter and tell them you appreciate what they did. It will be unexpected, it will be awkward. It also will be much appreciated.
Better yet, says psychologist and researcher Martin Seligman of Penn State University, is to do it in person. “The best way to turbo charge your joy is to make a ‘gratitude visit’ “ he says in a Time magazine interview. That means to write a full testimonial to someone to whom you owe a debt of gratitude, and then visit that person to read them the letter of appreciation. After you complete this assignment, write down your reactions.
Henley, L. & Silbar, J. “Wind Beneath my Wings.” WB Gold Music Corp., ASCAP. Warner House of Music, BMI. (Sung by Bette Midler, Experience the Divine, Atlantic Recording, 1993).
Seligman, M. quoted in, Wallis, C., “The New Science of Happiness.” Time, Jan. 17, 2005.