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Here’s another thoughtful message from LHP’s Chaplain Walter Ghosten. Did you know that Chaplain Ghosten is available to talk to any LHP employee who needs a listening ear? You can contact the Chaplain at or 865.806.4424.

Thanks is a powerful word in the English language. It is especially powerful when someone uses it to express their gratitude. Webster’s dictionary defines thanks as “a good feeling that you have toward someone who has helped you or given something to you.” If thanks is such a powerful word capable of making someone feel good or respond with positive feelings, then why is this word used so sparingly? Parents teach their children to say thanks whenever someone gives them a gift. How often do we as adults say thank you to someone to express our gratitude?

The SEC television station aired a story about the lives of Coach Dale Brown, LSU head basketball coach, and Shaquille O’Neal, a 7’1” basketball superstar who wore a size 22 shoe. He was a highly rated LSU basketball player who was regarded as one of the most dominating athletes and arguably the most gregarious personalities in sports history. Both Coach Brown and Shaquille came from similar backgrounds. Their families were great influences in their early childhood life. Fate would place them together at the same place at the same time doing what they loved most, and that was basketball.

However, as viewed on the storytelling program, the compassion and love they displayed for each other resonated above their basketball careers. During a heated basketball game, a player on the opposing team was very physical with Shaquille. So Coach Brown rushed out onto the basketball court and confronted the opposing player, expressing his displeasure with the player’s dirty physical tactics. Because of his actions, a bond was forged between the coach and player.

Later on during the show Coach Brown and Shaquille are seen embracing each other, laughing and talking about their history. It was at this point that Shaquille said to Coach Brown, “thank you for being there for me during my college days. Thank you…thank you.” Later on Coach Brown said to Shaquille that it meant so much to him to hear him say thanks.

So the next time someone helps you through a crisis or they do something kind-hearted, show your gratitude by saying thanks. It might be your supervisor or fellow coworker, or could be a resident that does something unexpected…encourage them all with a word of thanks.

Chaplain Walter Ghosten

By Chaplain Ghosten