The importance of Gratitude

"Neither were they thankful" Romans Chapter One

I've been thinking about "thankfulness" lately, thankfulness and ungratefulness. Thankfulness is a wonderful attitude to cultivate. It will protect your relationships and fill your life with joy. On the other hand, ungratefulness is a destructive attitude that steals the joy from life.

The opposite of "thankfulness" is a "sense of entitlement". This sense of entitlement says "I deserve only the best, and if I receive anything less than what I deserve, well - then I complain."

As employers are you grateful for the service of your helper? Do you routinely say "Thank you. Dinner was great!" or are you more likely to say "the rice was overcooked". Thankfulness looks not just at outcomes, but at the heart, the effort. When I pay my staff, I say "thank you, for your hard work", and my staff says "Thank you for the job and the paycheck." When I get up in the morning I say "Thank you Lord, for a beautiful day!" If it is raining I say "thank you for the rain", and I enjoy it!

If you are a "I'm entitled to", "I deserve", "the world owes me" kind of person, you will be demanding, rarely say "thank you" or "good job". Your children and spouse will be starved for "encouragement", and you will, frankly, be a "pain in the neck" to be around.

I can usually tell which employers have the "entitlement" attitude, because they start complaining long before their helper arrives. It doesn't matter that we have done everything in a correct and timely matter. If there is any small bump in the process, they get very angry.  "I paid you so much money, and the helper is still not here." (Most of our helpers arrive within 2 months of contract signing). Of course, a customer is entitled to expect certain things from those providing a service to them, but there are some things we can't do.

"Can you get me a helper in 4 weeks?" No!
"Can you find me a helper who speaks fluent Cantonese, cooks really great, but cannot be more than 30 years old." Not likely.

To be honest I worry, "If the employer is this demanding with us, how will they treat their helper?"

We have helpers who have the "entitlement" attitude as well. When we find them a job, they are excited and full of gratitude, but some of them, after a month or two of work, start to complain. If they get sick and we can't take them to the doctor (on behalf of their employer), these ladies complain "Arrow doesn't care for us." If we visit them in the hospital and take them into our home, while they recover, they don't say "thank you", but rather complain that we didn't do enough for them." They don't treat our help as something given out of love, but rather as something "owed to them".

Entitlement and Gratefulness are opposites. Don't take for granted those who live with you or those work with you. Thank them, praise them, encourage them, and you will create a home environment where everyone feels happy and appreciated. Discard the idea that the world owes you something. It will only make you unhappy and the people around you will be miserable too.

Think about it.