An attitude of gratitude, it has been said, is essential if you desire to be successful in life.
Recently I had the privilege to host an honored guest in our home...one whom many in my community owe much thanks and appreciation to because of the diligence and sacrifice which he has personally endured but which profited each one of us in this community. My thought was that it was an opportune time to host a luncheon in his honor and invite those in my community who have benefited the most from this gentleman’s generosity and liberality. To my wonderment less than 10% of those invited showed up to express their gratitude and an even fewer number of people offered a response to my invitation.
Though I wonder at this poor response I am not shocked because gratitude is a characteristic trait which is severely wanting in our society. And I believe the reason for that is that most people believe that whenever somebody offers to do something that sounds like it might be “too good to be true” or “out of the ordinary” or simply “kind” there is a sneaking suspicion that they are “being laid in wait for,” “being had,” or in the plans of someone to be taken advantage of.
This mentality may be the result of many things not the least of which might be the multi-level marketing ploy of inviting all your friends and relatives over for a cookout only to “sell” them on the latest and newest. Yet most people I know have been through this with their multi-level marketing friends and are big enough to just say “no thank you” and get on with their business/personal relationships.
So the question remains. Why don’t most people express more gratitude? I believe is because of the philosophical concept which our society has drudged into children and adults alike, and that is this: “You can only win at the expense of some else’s loss.”
This win/lose concept is indoctrinated in our society in all competitive sports, in most entertainment (movies, video games, etc.) in the investing world, in many marketing schemes, and miserably enough in many relationships...business and personal alike. But think about it this way for a moment. Is a relationship really worth cultivating if the other person or party isn’t participating 100%?
That’s right! All take and no give is no fun for the giver and produces selfishness in the one doing the taking. In reality such relationships are not relationships at all but rather primitive predatory prisons which you can unwillingly become a participant of, especially if you’re not careful. And therein lies the quandary for far too many people in society. In practicing the “art” of being “careful” you can often come across to others as being ungrateful, especially if you forget to exercise proper etiquette.
Etiquette permits you to show your gratitude without obligating yourself to someone else’s predatory habits. This allows you to remain in control but at liberty, free to move forward in your own life, uninhibited by the practice or policies of others. Etiquette also builds bridges with others whose very dependence you will need to become successful in life. That is because without others you can never rise to any level of success let alone significance. Gratitude is good and proper etiquette and those who practice it are admired and respected by everybody.
So take time to express your gratitude today. In doing so you will be successful and free from anybody’s attempt to take advantage of you. Gratitude is an attitude which anybody can cultivate and nobody can take away from you. When you are truly grateful you have become successful. And being successful is the first step in creating true and lasting wealth.