Gratitude Not Attitude
How much gratitude do you get? Let me guess: not much. Am I right?
It seems there’s an acute shortage of gratitude going round these days, doesn’t there? By gratitude, I mean, a word of thanks, a pat on the back, or some other kind of recognition that we’re doing our best. Despite its obvious benefits, many people are oblivious to the fact anyone expects any kind of gratitude for their best efforts.
Two places where gratitude looks to be lacking the most are at home and work. Partners assume you know they appreciate what you’re doing. So they don’t bother to show it. Likewise, kids think it’s your sovereign job to be at their beck and call night and day. So why should you get thanks for doing your duty?
Something similar happens in the workplace too. Managers rarely say thanks enough (if at all) for exceptional effort. Consequently, many a hurt and resentment has arisen out of a screamingly obvious lack of recognition.
Less noticeable is the absence of praise the other way; for bosses who actually do try their level best. Though it’s rarely said, management can be a lonely and thankless task that few understand. So gratitude works both ways.
But I believe gratitude goes much further than thankfulness. Manners, so often bemoaned as going down the gurgler, have their origins in gratitude too. Sure you can show manners without them. But manners without gratitude is like chalk scraping across a board. It grates. Feeling the absence of gratitude, manners come across as formalities, or even sarcasm.
When we lament the decline in manners and the increase in self-seeking activity, we are really facing a drop in gratitude. Though it may look like window dressing to some, gratitude is the reason why we open doors for others, smile gladly, and take our turn. Forget the painstaking obsession with getting manners down to a T. It’s the strength of gratitude beneath that people sincerely remember.
Gratitude doesn’t always come naturally. So we need to teach each other the value of gratitude to bring out our best, and also the finest in others. Lead the way I say! Be the example you believe in and demonstrate how it’s done. Despite the deficit in thankfulness at all levels, there is one sunny prospect. Gratitude is catching.
How often do you wish for a bit of gratitude?