The Power of Appreciation

My journey of gratitude and appreciation began at a young age; even before I entered school. My earliest memory of showing thankfulness was from my maternal, widowed grandmother who didn’t own even a home nor automobile. Her entire wealth consisted solely of a few dishes, pieces of furniture, clothing and accessories.  Widowed in her thirties with two young children, she instilled in her children and then her grandchildren that people aren’t obligated to offer kindness to others. When they do, such gifts must always be received with gratitude.

My grandmother’s financial funds were meager as a live-in care giver for a widower, residing in a rural OH community. During my infrequent outings to visit Grandma, occasionally a dairy truck making milk deliveries to the area residents stopped along his route to sell ice cream bars. If Grandma had an additional nickel; the cost of these treats, she would indulge me. However, I have always recalled the realization this treat might be rescinded if I failed to offer the two words Grandma was seeking. She looked at me with her stern, glaring eyes and said, “what do you say?” Initially, I was clueless.  When Grandma said, “you will get this ice cream only if you say, “thank you.” I rapidly learned the significance of this short, but invaluable phrase.

“Thank you”, two words which can impart tremendous power. When not granted, their absence can cause hurt feelings and emotions which may linger for years. As I began my research on the expectations of offering thanks, I was delighted to discern, my intense opinion of anyone not granting appreciation is embraced by many. Studies and research have been conducted by psychologists, sociologists, clergy and countess others as to the positive and negative effects of both receiving and withholding thankfulness toward others. Due to the vast information on this subject, this topic will be covered over several writings.

Most of us don’t extend kindnesses to others as a mode of receiving, “thank you”. Yet, we are frequently taken aback that our benevolence is expected rather than received as a gift. Recently, I presented kindness to an individual not once, but twice within less than 48 hours.  I purchased a ticket for this individual to attend the second event which resulted in receiving several lovely gifts. When she learned she would be receiving an additional gift at the conclusion, she rapidly departed to be the first in line for another “freebie.” Yet, now weeks later, there has never been a word of appreciation.

K. Deal when citing whether or not a person was taught such manners, noted, “saying thank you is a courtesy that one can learn. Secondly, why don’t you thank others? Are you too entitled to say thank you? Are you too lazy to say thank you?…not saying thank you is rude, unacceptable, and extremely irritating. Not saying thank you shows a lack of compassion and appreciation for the people around you.”

I Thess. 5:18 NKJ, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God…” TO BE CONTINUED

5 thoughts on “The Power of Appreciation

  1. Thank you Shirley for your kind words as I strive to encourage others. I know God didn’t place us on our paths to not share His light with others. Blessings to you also, Janie

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