05 April 2009

Mourning the loss of gratitude, but not giving in

I had to go the local mall recently. A mall is great place to people watch as the diversity of people is amazing. I observe people, their behavior and their interactions with others. While there, I noticed a severe lack (or loss) of gratitude.

What I noticed is that people did not seem to thank or even acknowledge people for things they do. Or they do it by rote with no true sense of gratitude. In a world that is moving faster, we are becoming more impersonal. I, though, am not about to let the state of the world have this kind of effect on me. It is exactly because the state of the world that it is important that we look to reaffirm our bonds with others.

I have seen the happiness, pleasure and even shock when I give genuine gratitude. Saying 'Thank you, Ellen' with eye contact and a smile to the waitress when she refills your drink. Saying 'Your welcome, glad to do it' instead of 'No problem' to the person whom you hold a door for. It takes so little effort to do this and the rewards are so great; both for the other person and for you.

Try it and see how it make you feel. Maybe it will make the other person do it to the next person they see. A sort of gratitude pay it forward.


Buddhist_philosopher said...

Great post, Eric - I've been trying to post a regular 'gratitude journal' at my blog for almost a year now; finding it to be a wonderful way to bring good things into my 'meditative space' of the blog as well as to build up good feelings to bring back into the world. Keep it up :)

Queen Lindsay said...

I've always been a very greatful person and I guess old fashioned. I always say "no mam"/"Yes sir" etc. My parents used to thump me in the head every time I didn't say it..needless to say...it worked.

Eric Vonk said...

I had this instilled in my by parents and more specifically by my grandma. Not by her thumping me (there were times I deserved that), but by setting an example for me. She was a role model for gratitude. I see a lot of parents that don't teach their kids gratitude and they turn out to be terrible people.