Saying Thanks and Beyond

Is Saying Thank You Enough

Non-Fiction - Biography
58 Pages
Reviewed on 11/27/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Saying Thanks and Beyond: Is Saying Thank You Enough? by Ralph Mosgrove is a timely little reminder that what we do and say can have influence far beyond ourselves. As the author compares small, random acts of kindness to the ripples of a pond, he reminds us that our actions do have consequences that ripple out across the Universe. In today’s hectic, me-centered world, it is sometimes easy to forget even the common courtesies that we were taught as children… please and thank you. But even more than that, it is the little things we do that can make an enormous difference over time. The smile at a stranger, holding a door open for a person with a disability or with arms full of packages, allowing someone in a hurry to push in front of us without getting annoyed; all of these minor acts accumulate and are placed in the bank of “paying it forward”, if you like.

Author Ralph Mosgrove touches a slightly raw nerve in most readers, I am sure, as it asks them to look inward at themselves and perhaps ask the question what am I doing to help my fellow man/woman? It doesn’t take much and, for me, that was the success of this book. The author wasn’t asking us to make massive changes in the way we deal with and interact with others. The suggestions he makes are simple and easily put in place. What is self-evident but often overlooked is the benefit to the giver of these little random acts of kindness. As well as making us feel better about ourselves for doing something nice, the flow-on effect is what really matters. As each person is made to feel better, they also pass on that good feeling and the act of kindness is multiplied. It’s well worth reminding ourselves that this ripple effect works equally as effectively when we pass on negative, grumpy, or even angry feelings toward others. As a reminder of the importance of pleasantness and civility in our currently fractured environment, this book is a tiny little gem to be passed on from one person to another.

Jack Magnus

Saying Thanks and Beyond: Is Saying Thank You Enough is a nonfiction biography/collection of Christian devotionals written by Ralph Mosgrove. Mosgrove was inspired to write this book in memory of his wife, Rev. Elsie Louise Mosgrove. Their lives together were forever changed when Elsie fell at the age of 77. While she was still able to get around with a walker and could still drive a car with help getting in and out of it, Elsie’s engagements in volunteer work and her role as a leader in Christian Women’s Ministries were curtailed as were Mosgrove’s own roles as organist and choir director at MacDill AFB Chapel. What struck Mosgrove most, as he and his wife went on with their daily lives, was the kindness of strangers they would meet, especially in situations where someone would stop and hold the door for his wife. While each of them knew Mosgrove could also hold that door, there was something moving about the gesture of waiting and wanting to help. And while saying thank you was a sincere expression of appreciation for those strangers’ acts of caring, was that really enough? In this collection of essays and devotionals, Mosgrove explores ways we can all keep that gratitude alive and going forward.

Ralph Mosgrove’s collection of biographical essays and devotionals eloquently explores the concept of paying it forward. I found each of the chapters in this book to be thought-provoking and worth spending some time thinking about. I particularly enjoyed considering the ripple effect of gratitude both within the one expressing it and without. Mosgrove’s image of a stone tossed into a pool of water and his comparison of those ripples with the effect of kindness and appreciation is profound and moving. The examples he gives throughout the book of situations where kindness works so well help the reader more fully grasp Mosgrove’s intent and make reading and learning both interesting and comprehensible. Mosgrove’s writing style is direct and conversational, making it feel as though he’s directly speaking to his readers. Saying Thanks and Beyond: Is Saying Thank You Enough is most highly recommended.

Patricia Reding

Author Ralph Mosgrove opens Saying Thanks and Beyond with an introduction. After decades of marriage, his wife, Elsie, took a major fall at 77 years of age. She broke a hip and fractured vertebra. For the next eight years until her death, the retired Mosgroves lived a new reality of adjusting things for her wellbeing. Along the way, they discovered the goodness of friends, neighbors, and even strangers. Thus began the author’s journey to record his thoughts on how one might acknowledge those who demonstrate kindness, generosity, patience, and self-denial. In doing so, he hopes to inspire people to do good deeds because kindness begets gratitude and gratitude, in turn, begets kindness.

Ralph Mosgrove observes in Saying Thanks and Beyond how the impact of a good deed reaches far and is absorbed by others. He encourages people to let go of negative impulses when encountering the less than compassionate since we cannot know what bad experiences might trigger others’ reactions. He believes that our sharing words of gratitude verbally (whether in person or by phone), in writing, or by doing something kind for others (such as by supporting their business efforts or sharing kind words about them), makes others feel good and wanting to share that feeling. He encourages people to act with kindness, even when they are unable to say the words or to show their gratitude to the person who first showed kindness to them. In an era in which many do not seem grateful for their blessings, Mosgrove’s words provide much needed and timely wisdom.

Bruce Arrington

Saying Thanks and Beyond: Is Saying Thank You Enough by Ralph Mosgrove is a short treatise on expressing gratitude when receiving kindness from a stranger or loved one. Written from a Christian world perspective, it delves into the act of kindness and how it can be expressed. It also breaks down the act of being kind from the perspective of motivation—where true kindness comes from and how to implement it.

I have the strong impression that the author is targeting the younger generation in particular, as he gives an example or two wherein gratitude was not expressed. It could be reasoned that those he came into contact with might not have been trained from an early age to be respectful to others, especially as it pertains to opening doors. Opening doors for others is the prime example provided time and again in this book, and the author goes to lengths trying to fit it into a greater understanding of being kind to others.

I found Saying Thanks and Beyond by Ralph Mosgrove to be interesting. And although I have been trained from a very young age to express thanks, it is a good reminder in an age where shifting fads may alienate people from each other, so much so that they can lose the ability to communicate—not only in expressing appreciation but in other important ways as well. What one generation takes for granted as a given in a society where the concept of mutual respect is a given, it may be lost to another. Recommended.

Faridah Nassozi

When you receive kindness, you need to pay it forward and the first and immediate way to do so is by letting that person know you truly appreciate their act of kindness. In his book titled Saying Thanks and Beyond, Ralph Mosgrove reflects on the kindness he received from strangers in the aftermath of an accident that left his wife disabled. He narrates this and other stories he has observed. Ralph Mosgrove shares his story while exploring the important question of how to show gratitude when one extends their kindness to you. While a lot has been said about the importance of kindness, not so much is said about how to truly express your gratitude for the kindness, and that is the focus of Saying Thanks and Beyond. This book talks about kindness from all sides; giving it, receiving it, its ripple effects, and truly showing appreciation for it.

To quote supermodel Alek Wek: "True beauty is born through our actions and aspirations and in the kindness we offer to others." Ralph Mosgrove truly demonstrates this in Saying Thanks and Beyond: Is Saying Thank You Enough. The beauty that has come out of the acts of kindness he has received or observed over the years often goes beyond the moment, spreading into other parts of the recipient's life and beyond. In return, one needs to show gratitude for that kindness. My main takeaway from this book is that whenever possible we should extend our kindness and do so without hesitation or reservation. And whenever we receive kindness, we must always show gratitude. Ralph Mosgrove encourages us to always be deliberate with our 'thank you' and say it not in passing but with sincere intention. Saying Thanks and Beyond is a quick read that is both touching and very relatable.