Gratitude is a lost art in the world today. No matter how much we are told to express what we are grateful for, the thought if often lost in our busy lives. If we all expressed a little gratitude now and then, wouldn’t the world be a happier place?
Perhaps the reason that the joys of gratitude and thankfulness often appear in short supply in modern society is that we do indeed forget to take stock and recognize just how grateful we are toward others and even toward ourselves. We are hurried through the challenges of life at breakneck speed. Once we complete the obstacle course of our daily routines, we turn our focus toward the rigors of the next day. Our accomplishments of the day are forgotten. Most acts of kindness go unrewarded. The enjoyments of the day we rushed through fade into forgotten memories.
To truly be grateful takes some reflection. The moments when we feel less than blessed is the time we need to do this. As we are feeling unfairly burdened, unloved or unappreciated, we need to become more aware of the truths in life. We need to take inventory of our blessings. When we do this, we open ourselves to the infinite number of things for which we are grateful. We might remember the people we knew who shared their knowledge with us. We might remember those around us who complimented us when we were not feeling deserving of praise. We may remember the family, friends, co-workers and neighbors who acted as role models and guided us through life. Countless acts of kindness have taken us to where we are today.
Gratitude, once realized, is a gift that we should never keep in its wrapping. It needs to be opened and shared. We should ask ourselves if we have expressed the joy and gratitude toward others in our lives who are deserving of praise. Now is a perfect opportunity to ask yourself whom in this organization you are grateful for. Is Gratitude is contagious. It's an infectious, healing act. When we share our gratitude with others, it doubles within ourselves. And when we focus on recognizing and celebrating the positive in our life, we make it habitual. Make it your habit and share its positive effects with others.
All that being said, I have yet again been blessed with someone’s gratitude. I feel bad about complaining about a seemingly thankless job all week. Another credit union took the time to send me a handwritten thank you note for some coding assistance they needed with a dividend fix and added in a small token of appreciation in the form of a $20 dollar Starbucks gift card. That token of appreciation has not been lost on me. In fact it completely brightened my day and made me realize I have a lot to be thankful for and I need to do a better job of showing my own gratitude towards others. There is no joy in focusing on the fact that my hard work and loyalty to my organization go unrecognized and I have repeatedly been ignored in my efforts to shine. I have to admit. I am used to being the company rock star. In my short 2.5 years here that just hasn’t been the case. The negativity here is overwhelming and too many people are looking out for themselves and in the process casting a dark cloud over many many deserving people who just want to be recognized for their job well done. I am not alone. SO… rather than focus on what I am not getting from them I am now determined to make sure that I go above and beyond to recognize those coworkers myself. It may not mean as much, but at least they can get the small bit of hope that I have been given from outside that people really are thankful for what we do.
And to the gifter of my ray of sunshine in the form of a green tea frappucino with an extra shot of melon this morning - Thanks for the giftcard – it really did make my day.