I’ve been amazed the last few days by great contrasts in gratitude displayed.
In one instance, a fellow missionary friend received various favors and helps, but made only negative, complaining comments.
In another situation, a young lady, on her own initiative, said “thank you” various times, in the middle of a very busy schedule, to the people who had done something nice for her.
In both cases, the actions were so noticeable that a third-party, impressed by the behavior, came to tell me about it. Unfortunately, one was very encouraged, but the other felt frustrated and disappointed.
I’ve had people rationalize their lack of thankfulness with, “We don’t thank people for something when they are only doing their job” or “I’m not detail oriented. I don’t write notes”. They haven’t convinced me. In my opinion, these are just excuses for a lack of gratitude and an unwillingness to make the effort.
There are many ways to express gratitude. When I was little, my Mom taught me to write thank you notes for gifts or special treats. We taught our children to do the same. We also taught them to say “grace” before a meal, to “try a bite” to show gratitude for the food offered, and to say thank you to the cook before leaving the table. Living in a foreign country, we saw many examples of poverty and need, and our children learned gratitude for all they had. On teams, we say thank you in many ways (diplomas, gifts, financial and “day off” compensations).
Sometimes it takes extra time, effort, or even expense to say thank you; it is a habit we learn and can improve… mostly it just takes a sincere attitude of gratitude. I know I can grow in my gratitude attitude… the picture I added to this blog has been going around on Facebook and Pinterest and challenges me greatly.
I can also learn from you… How is your gratitude attitude? How do you say thank you?
Challenging, Terry! My Mom too was great at writing thank you notes. My sisters got it but I haven’t done it well. Just this morning though I had the thought to go buy some thank you cards for a few ministry partners. Think your post has confirmed that idea! 🙂
Did you get your “thank you” cards? 🙂