Walter Green did not want to wait until the end of his life to tell people how important they are to him and thank them for the impact they made in his life’s journey
A few years ago, Walter Green’s friend Denny called his attention to the fact that he wanted a really nice party at his celebration of life after he departed. Walter asked him if he would like to be at the party. Denny looked at him with a puzzled look on his face exclaiming “that is not how it works!" and Walter responded "how it works doesn't make much sense."
Walter proposed to him that he was going to be 75 soon and why don’t they invite all the people on Denny's list to the birthday party. If he agreed to that, Walter would do his celebration of life after he passed. They had a marvelous 75th, people paid tribute in such a touching way and it was such a happy occasion for Denny and his friends.
Looking back, Walter has shared that he was grateful for hosting and organizing a living tribute because a year and a half later Denny passed away. He asked himself this question. Why are we so reluctant to tell people how we feel about them and the impact that they have on us?
This experience reinforced the importance of paying tribute while everyone is alive and well. Walter learned that relationships matter, and close relationships are a treasure. This new movement has become the birth of Say It Now.
“We usually wait to pay tribute to people after they have passed on, when they are not alive to hear our words. But we should say it now, while they can appreciate it and before it’s too late,” Green says.
What followed was a year-long journey throughout the United States to visit 44 people who significantly impacted his life. This led to his inspirational book, “This is the Moment,” where Walter laid the groundwork for the importance of expressing our feelings for others.
Walter wanted to take his pursuits to the next level and create the Say It Now movement, which is dedicated to shifting the paradigm of how people honor those who have had an impact on their lives.
The next step in the Say It Now movement was the launch of a year-long initiative in 2023 to empower 1 million expressions of gratitude, where people are engaged and inspired to give thanks to those who have helped, inspired and loved them through their lives.
Whether at school, at home or in the workplace, people of all ages can visit www.justsayitnow.org to access free resources to make it easier to jumpstart their gratitude journey.
Craig and team worked with Walter to develop a comprehensive Say It Now toolkit and ‘how to’ resources including letter writing, face-to-face experiences, and hosting a living tribute event.
“We designed the Say It Now resources to be as simple and turnkey as possible to help people get past those initial hurdles, start their gratitude journey and then quickly realize how transformational the experience of expressing gratitude is,” says Green.
“My hope is that the principle of expressing gratitude while we are alive and well will become customary, and we no longer wait until it’s too late and have to live with the regrets for things we wish we had said,” says Green.