During the holidays several of my clients received their bankruptcy discharge. The discharge is a court order which states that the Debtor is no longer legally obligated to repay most if not all of his or her debts. In most cases the only debts that are not discharged are student loans and taxes. Sometimes even taxes can be discharged, but that’s a topic for another blog post.
When that discharge comes out, many of my clients thank me profusely. For some reason I often have a hard time accepting thanks. When I was growing up I think it was part of the culture to assume that when somebody was just doing their job, there was no need to thank them. And if somebody thanked me I tended to say “no need to thank me” or “it was nothing” or other similar words which more or less blew it off. Later in life I learned that such responses diminish the importance of the gratitude being expressed and the person expressing it, and a simple “you’re welcome” is a much better way to respond.
Gratitude is one of the most noble of feelings and it should always be acknowledged – still it remains hard for me to do. Even so, with the client’s permission I’d like to share with you the following somewhat poetic excerpt from an email I received from one of the clients who recently got that discharge:
“This is the best holiday present ever!
That difficult experience of the past few years can now finally be a ghost….So many sleepless nights.
Thank you David for helping us to straighten out our lives..
We still have a hard road a head to try to prepare for being too old to be employed…
It would have been impossible with the mess we were in and it is still a long shot but we do have better odds now.
You were our guiding light and we will always be grateful.
Many many thanks to you David, …….”
I tend to get a little emotional around the holidays anyway, but this email really touched me.