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The two little words that can be a 'big deal' to others

For LeAnn Rimes, gratefulness starts with two little words.
/ Source: TODAY

LeAnn Rimes has a lot to be grateful for.

But these days, rather than focus on her incredible talents, or continued successes, or loving family, she said she likes to appreciate the little kindnesses of everyday life.

“In the last couple of weeks, I’ve really tried not to take anything for granted,” she told “I’ve changed my whole way of thinking.”

For her, it all starts with two little words.

“I start with the people that are around every day — my husband, my kids, my friends — and I really say ‘thank you.’ I think that’s a big deal. People don’t do that enough.”

Every day, she posts a “chalk talk” on Instagram, small messages meant to inspire her fans.

And she used Twitter to help kick off the Season of Kindness, 40 days of celebrating acts of kindness big and small.

Though she has many projects, one group has been particularly thankful for Rimes’ support: The Disabled American Veterans organization (, who will be joining her new Today is Christmas tour to help raise awareness and money for military members’ smooth transition home.

“It’s such a fantastic organization and I feel like there are so many veterans who come back and their lives are completely changed, and they’re totally forgotten about,” Rimes said. “It really is something that is completely overlooked.

“It’s funny now that I’ve been involved with them and the word has gotten out, I get so many veterans saying ‘thank you’ so randomly. It’s quite the moving experience, to have vets say ‘thanks for remembering us.’”

It happens to her at shows, and at airports. She’s even been approached by a fan who appeared in her “Celebrate Me Home” video, in which she duets with Gavin DeGraw.

Each show on the tour, Rimes will plan a special surprise for a veteran on stage.

“I’m going to be a blubbering mess,” she said. “I don’t know how I’m going to do it. I’m going to torture myself.

“It’s going to be tough. You see these people and it really means something to them, in their lives. For me, I can be disconnected from it in a way because it’s not my everyday in-and-out life. But when you see it involved with them personally on that kind of level, and music is involved, and emotions are involved, I know I won’t be able to hold it together.”

This story is part of NBCU’s Season of Kindness. Follow the series on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #ShareKindness