More thoughts on being grateful, as November closes…
When I listen to someone talk about a truly amazing and memorable experience, I usually expect to hear enthusiasm in their voice. Their grateful words, without enthusiasm, are just words and carry very little weight in my heart.
The Grateful Giver
I view giving thanks from two different postures, the giver and the receiver. When I am truly grateful I try to add something to what I express. I like to show my excitement in the words I choose, the inflection in my voice and maybe an appropriate action – a smile, a hug or a pat on the back. These are side products of my enthusiasm. Without them the receiver hears my words but doesn’t experience my gratitude in the way I intended them to experience it. They may be just words to them
The Receiver of Gratitude
On the other hand, as the receiver of someone’s gratitude I look for these same cues. I try not to be too judgmental if their actual presentation is lacking in some way. They may be truly grateful but have a reason for being unable to show enthusiasm. Someone who has gone through a tragic life experience or is suffering from illness may be physically or mentally unable to add much to their words. Understanding this can keep me from feeling underappreciated when that is simply not true.
The most satisfying form of thankfulness, in my opinion, is when I am an anonymous receiver. Someone is enthusiastically expressing thanks for something to those around them but they don’t know who did the act. I receive their thanks anonymously. When this happens I know I have truly made a difference in someone’s life! It’s hard to resist the temptation to take credit or divulge that I had a part. Instead I accept that they are thankful and I, in turn, am thankful for the result in their life. I can just smile and give them a hug. That is thankfulness recycled.
How has this month of November stirred you to be grateful in a more expressive way?