The Gratitude Salute | Print |  E-mail
Sunday, 05 June 2011
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I love this straight-from-the-heart Gratitude Salute, which is showing up in a nationwide campaign to acknowledge and thank our Service Members. Its really getting around, as you can see from the number of views for this video.  It looks like an ASL gesture to me bet it is.


Maybe it will become part of our everyday behavior, and then we could use it for anyone we appreciate.  What a concept!  To me, its visual poetry.  Check it out.

P.S.  Just heard from my daughter-in-law, Joanne Nerenberg, who reports:

Yes, this salute seems to be derived from ASL, though slightly different. The right hand motioning forward is the same, however the ASL "thank you" begins at the mouth. The Gratitude Salute starts at the heart--which is a nice touch. It looked like a few of the folks in the video were completing their salute with the hand coming back toward the body. This is more like the sign for "gross" in ASL--the hand flipping on the belly--probably unintentional!



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Comments (4)Add Comment
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written by Carol Reinhard, June 08, 2011
I love this idea and this gesture. Just yesterday I say a service man at the grocery and wanted to say something, but didn't. Now I will know what to do. I think I will also mouth the words "thank you."

Gestures are very powerful in many cultures. I lived in Turkey for a while. You host always would offer tea and cigarettes. As a guest, you were obliged to say no twice and then accept. However, I did not smoke and wanted to turn that offer down immediately. I learned that spreading the fingers of the right hand over the heart was a polite gesture that meant... I really mean no thank you. We used with our kids growing up and I used it in the classroom.... very successfully.... no whining. They knew when I meant no.
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written by joan Holdstock, June 09, 2011
What a wonderful wayto say "thank you". ....however afraid I din't understand the bit in the comments regarding the belly.
Is it the heart and then what exactly????
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written by belleruth, June 09, 2011
I think, Joan, she meant that some people were adding their own iterations to the basic 'thank you from the heart gesture'. If you know ASL, you'll know that bringing your hand back to your belly means 'YUCK'.
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written by Cathy Miller, June 12, 2011
Thank you,Belleruth, for posting about this wonderful gesture. I have already shared the gratitude link (http://www.gratitudecampaign.org/) on two different websites. I hope this becomes a official national gesture. I know I intend to make it a daily practice.

The history & meaning of the gesture on the gratitude website. In part, it says:

"...To make the sign simply place your hand on your heart as though you're saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Then pull your hand down and out, bending at the elbow (not the wrist), stopping for a moment at about the belly button with your hand flat, palm up, angled toward the person you're thanking.

"According to Norman Heimgartner, Ed.D., author of "Behavioral Traits of Deaf Children" and former Professor of Education at the University of Puget Sound, this sign originated in France in the late 1700's, and was published in "Theorie des Signes", a dictionary of signs by the Abbe Sicard. The sign was brought to the United States in 1816 by the Reverend Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, founder of the American School for the Deaf, who later modified it to start at the chin rather than at the heart. That sign is now the standard sign for "thank you" in American Sign Language (ASL). The original sign, starting at the heart, is less commonly known today and might now be considered "slang"..." (http://www.gratitudecampaign.org/index.php?c=pages&m=about_the_sign)

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