Oprah Winfrey explains that she’s not grateful that she’s a
gazillionaire, but is a gazillionaire because she’s
revelation does not mean that you can become a billionaire by being
grateful, but being grateful and showing gratitude will make your life
statement needs to be a guide in these times when “social media” –which
is in reality antisocial media—enables and exacerbates behavior that was
once confined to those who were ill bred. Graciousness is receding in
too much of our social interactions, but simple expressions of thanks
spread in very good ways.
neighbor mentioned to me that she was in a hurry in line at the grocery
store and had to get back to an ill family member. As a result, she was
irritable. The kid who was clerk looked both bored and unhappy in his
work, but he did a very good job, and my neighbor got checked out
quickly. Relieved, she said to the clerk, “That was very efficient.
hearing that compliment, the kid smiled. His whole face lit up. It was
as though his boring job became much easier.
client entering a lab for a routine blood test was called in and asked
about the specific test to ensure that there were several done at the
same time. It didn’t take long to discover that the technician called in
the wrong person and would have taken blood and submitted it for
something completely unrelated to what was needed. That was very
irritating in addition to the irritation of having to be there to begin
with, and no one likes having a needle stuck in their arm.
None-the-less, the client was again called in after the person needing
the other test left. The technician was pretty good at drawing blood,
not the best, but far from the worst. The client thanked her for being
pretty good at the task. The technician was very pleased and apparently
had not typically been thanked for doing her job very often if at all.
Similarly, in one of those compulsory companywide meetings, a speaker
was hired whose expertise was nutrition—how boring is that. But the
speaker made the subject interesting, informative, and very funny.
Everyone loved it. When he was finished, he rushed out of the room when
someone called out, “Well done!” He suddenly paused, looked around and
saw who had said that, walked over to shake the person’s hand and said,
“You made my day!”
If we can
make someone’s day that easily, we should all be doing it.
Graciousness, congeniality, and common courtesy can easily be taught
from the cradle. When a baby first hands you a gooey piece of ziebeck or
anything at all, the proper thing to do is say, “Thank you.” It will
become an automatic response when the child is given something. Yet,
we’ve allowed rudeness to become a status symbol, and thankfulness taken
as a sign of being lower on the totem pole, being “phony” and unworthy.
to live in the kind of community, society, country, and world that we
want to, we’re really going to have to change that.
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