Updated: Apr 26, 2019

Have you ever just stopped and considered that people really do not have to say thank you? Although gratitude is beautiful choice to make, it's just that a choice. Growing up, I was taught to say "thank you." That was my experience, however not everyone had my experience. As a result we encounter people that simply don't say "thank you" The omission of thank you, after a kindness was given; use to really rubbed me the wrong way. I would think to myself "rude" and would become clearly annoyed. One day I had an "ah ha" moment, people do not have to say thank you; Wow! Even though, this was totally contrary to my beliefs; that revelation shifted my perspective.

Now that I had the "ah ha" moment; How could I grow from there? Being so "gung ho" about thankfulness, made it a challenge for me to accept ungratefulness. But wait, what happened to meeting a person, where they are in life? Aren't I suppose to love them right there? How do you love an ungrateful person? Face your judgement, that's right I said it; look at your own views about people who lack gratitude. Then consider maybe your experience, with said person; is to give you the opportunity to demonstrate thankfulness.

I clearly saw the flaws in my reactions; starting with respecting / accepting a person right where they are. Seriously, how could I be an advocate of LOVE and judge someone for having a different reality than mine? That realization stung, but in a good way, because it allowed me to look within myself and make the necessary changes. Just to be clear, I am and will continue to be a work in progress, as long as I am on this earth. The difference is now I am aware, and it's up to me to behave according; which means forgiving myself when I miss the mark.

Giving without expectation is a challenge, however it's not impossible; with prayer and practice. I remember giving my younger sister a piece of antique furniture and later seeing it in her basement. There were cans on top of it and circled water markings; I was outdone. In an emotional response, I removed the piece from my sister's basement and gave it to a friend, whom I felt would better appreciate the piece. OMG! I can't believe I am sharing this, but the point needs to be made; I was dead wrong.

Who was I to determine my sister's feelings of gratitude or appreciation towards the item. Clearly, she enjoyed it differently than I did, but I gave it to her; it was no longer mines, period. I would later find out that my actions really hurt my younger sister; she told me, not from a place of anger, but from a place of love and transparency. That experience taught me the valuable lesson to give and let go.

I am still working on not cringing when people don't say thank you. However, I am no longer annoyed consistently (wink), for the most part I just don't take it personal. During my clinical instructor season, many of my students would not say thank you. I am not going to label them entitled, I'll just say the behavior exhibited reflected traits of entitlement. One day I decided to try a reflection technique; in the space where thank you was missing, I simply said "Your Welcome." The initial response was a look of confusion, which quickly turned into a smile; followed by "Thank You, Professor Woodford."

We are all a work in progress, so instead of finding ways to spotlight or judge the flaws in others; how about looking within on how we can change and be a part of the needed solutions. If you feel gratitude is missing in a situation; you be the gratitude. ~YOUR WELCOME (winks)

~One Love Diane



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