Definition for the word gratitude: thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return
Gratitude – Now, this is something that is close to my heart and No! I am not referring to philosophical statements like ” Be thankful when you discover that your clothes don’t fit due to weight gain, think about those kids in Africa who don’t get two square meals a day!” While thinking on those lines is also good, I feel that being grateful for the little things in life and expressing the same to those responsible for making it easy for you goes a long way. I cannot go a day without uttering the magic words “Thank You”. We often take these words for granted, assuming that the other party did whatever they did because that is what they are supposed to do – rather it is their job or responsibility to do so!
Over the years, I have realized that nobody has a responsibility to do anything for me. They either choose to help me our or not, and this is true even at work! It is a fact that sometimes, it might be their job to take care of my requests, but it is also true that they don’t really want to help me out for whatever reason. So I make sure that the individual who has lent me a helping hand, knows that I appreciate his/her gesture. Like that secretary who got me a desk in 5 minutes , the colleague who gave me a ride to work, the sales clerk who climbed the ladder to the loft to retrieve the box with shoes that matched the size of my feet, the cleaning lady who cleaned up my coffee accident or waving my hand in a gesture of thanks to the that random guy who let me switch lanes on the road by pausing to let me go…the list goes on!
I have noticed that people smile when I thank them and I feel a sense of calm in knowing I had a role to play in creating that smile. Even those sour cats who don’t like to do anything that is requested of them. And it has worked extremely well on someone who figures on your hate list! Hey sometimes, you may even make a friend this way!
And this only gets better when it is practiced at home. We tend to take those close to us for granted. So at home, I make sure my mother or mother in law know I am glad they packed my lunch for me. Even my toddler hears a “Thank You” when he does something for me, which includes something as trivial as throwing a piece of paper into the trash can! Now I am happy because everyone is happy.
Note to the little one: Make sure you appreciate even the little things that people will do for you, no matter how important, young or old they are.
Note to my self: Practice what you preach to the little one.