An executive with many years of leadership experience asked me a question that I simply cannot get off of my mind. He said, "Do you think most people would rather have someone help them with a task or would they rather hear a 'thank you' from someone they have helped?" At first glance one might assume that the answer would be "help with the task". However, upon examining the question, I wonder if that is true? When we give of our time, energy and effort to benefit someone else, a word of thanks is what confirms to us that our acts have been received and appreciated.
There is power in showing gratefulness to others. It not only shows respect, but it gives a wonderful gift to those who have helped us - the gift of gratitude.
It appears to me that we live in a culture where there is an epidemic of focusing on ourselves, our needs, or wants and our desires. We have come to expect others to serve us, to provide conveniences for us to consume at every turn. We believe we are entitled to fast service at our local restaurant, express lanes in our grocery stores, immediate help when we call or approach a customer service desk. We demand that our travel be made as easy as possible with prepared and fully stocked hotel rooms, air flights that arrive and leave on time and cab, Uber , Lyft, etc waiting on us for ground transportation . We are entitled to air conditioning when it’s hot and heat when it’s cool. We demand that when our stores are not located conveniently that we be able to order immediately online what ever we want whenever we want it.
With all of these demands and entitlement show often do we stop to offer a word of thanks?How do we treat the restaurant server at our table? Do we stop long enough to show thanks to fast food servers at the drive through? How about the clerk that checks out our groceries, clothes or other purchases? How about the customer service rep, the hotel receptionist or the one who cleans our hotel rooms? How about our co-workers to offer assistance and help? How about the people we love, who serve us on a regular basis?
I believe that we live in a fast paced rat race with demands and entitlements that results in us showing very little graciousness. I believe that there is an epidemic of a lack of gratitude in our society today.
I challenge you to slow down and give the gift of gratitude today. It won't be hard to find someone to give it to, and when you do… it will definitely make a difference.