I just received some timely encouragement from a student, and I share it not to puff myself up, but to share a point.
"Thank you for teaching me perseverance.
Thank you for teaching me grit.
Thank you for teaching me how to be the best version of myself.
Thank you for teaching me how to be an example of good character.
Thank you for having so much kindness & patience with me.
Thank you for making the dojo such a safe place.
Thank you for teaching me so well how to help other people.
Thank you for teaching me how to have self control & get practice.
Thank you for helping me get better at all of these things.
Lastly, thank you so much for challenging me."
Two lessons from this letter of gratefulness from a young teen. First, notice the complete lack of techniques; punches, kicks, etc. Seriously, what human being wouldn't want o be in a place mentioned by this young man?! I've trained with him for several years now and have seen him grow so much. Sure, his punches and kicks and kata have all improve tremendously; but more importantly...he's growing up. He's growing into the mindset of a young man who is firm, but compassionate. He is learning to draw boundaries and guard his personal space. He is learning how to ask for input AND receive it humbly!
Secondly, his expression of gratitude comes at the perfect time. Expressing thankfulness is a blessing to the one who gives, as well as the one who receives. This young student's words of thankfulness lifted the spirits of a much older sensei. YOUR words of thankfulness have such tremendous power. Use that. Bless someone this weekend.