Life's Tool Box – A Guide for Parents and Educators

April 11, 2012

Gratitude and Graciousness – Tools for Life

Filed under: Tools for Life Posts — by Life's Toolbox @ 4:30 pm
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I arrived at a glorious vacation resort, checked in to a beautiful room, and after a delicious lunch returned to find my electric keys no longer worked in the door.  A trip to the desk ensued, where I waited in line behind about half a dozen others about to embark on a week of pampering, sunning, lazing and enjoyment.  My turn came, and a smiling attendant promptly served up re-programmed keys, saying for probably the gazillionth time, “thank you for your patience”.  I answered without thinking, “It’s easy to be patient in paradise”.  The desk clerk’s smile broadened to a full-out beam.  “You just made my day” he said.

This little encounter made me think about the power of gratitude and graciousness, and judging by the reception my small comment enjoyed, how rare a commodity it has become.  There was a time when children were raised to say please and thank you.  There was a time when adults understood the value of kind words and gracious appreciation. Are we too busy to take the nano-second it requires to express our gratitude for jobs well done – or done at all?   Are we too entitled, feeling we paid for this, why should we have to be nice when we receive it?  Are we so engrossed in the land of texts and beeps and buzzes that the language of thanking has been eliminated or abbreviated to the barely recognizable Tx?

In the world of education and parenting there is considerable and continuous debate/discussion regarding whether one should thank, appreciate, reward, bribe one’s children or students when they do that which you expect or require.  “Why should I pay Jenny allowance for making her bed?  She needs to learn responsibility.”  “I don’t believe in rewarding children for their schoolwork.  It’s their job”.  A discussion of the nuance of praise, reward and recognition is for another time.  I for one am ready to admit that I am a gratitude junkie.  I like when my employer demonstrates appreciation of my efforts, with intangibles like verbal congratulations, and even with tangibles like promotions!  I like when my spouse complements my outfit.  Nothing makes my day as much as when my children return home, lift the cover off a pot in the kitchen and wax poetic about my cooking!  I believe I would work, cook, and dress nicely no matter what, but all those bits of gratitude fuel my efforts, and make them seem even more worthwhile.

Many complain that the art of service is dead. No one cares about their work anymore, no one is interested in customer care.  I don’t know in the chicken-egg debate which came first, but I can’t help wondering how far a little gratitude would go in engaging those around us in better care.  For my week in paradise, and I hope beyond, I am going to be grateful and gracious.  It is not an act, I really am incredibly thankful for what others do for me, as part of their job, or out of friendship or their good nature.  And if I am rewarded with a smile, or the knowledge that I made someone’s day . . . well, that’s paradise!

 

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2 Comments »

  1. You were truly an amazing part of Paradise — you worked hard and your entire family was full of graciousness and gratitude — we send it all right back to you!
    xoxox
    S and A

    Comment by arlene lasko — April 16, 2012 @ 7:41 pm |Reply

    • I take it as a good sign that you have a free moment to read. Thank you for your comment, and your kind words . . . and here’s to more shared times in Paradise!

      Comment by Life's Toolbox — April 16, 2012 @ 9:57 pm |Reply


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