The Gift that is Receiving Gratitude

Ink on Pastel Paper – Words: William Faulkner

It is the week of Thanksgiving here in the US, so I am going to focus for the next few days on gratitude, thankfulness and share quotes to remind us of this thankful time of year. Today’s quote reads:

Maybe the only thing worse than having to give gratitude constantly is having to accept it.

-William Faulkner 1962

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving, which means we have an attitude of giving thanks. These words remind us that we must also accept thanks from others. THAT can be the hard part…giving can be easier than receiving. Why is that? Is it because we take for granted the work we have put into getting things done? Or that we do not see it as “work”? Is it that we think our work is not worthy of recognition? Or that we do not need to be recognized, we enjoy doing it so no need to be thanked?

Or maybe it goes much deeper than that? It can be hard to receive anything, not just thanks. We have been raised to be independent people, strong competent…so being thanked for things means we have to admit no one can do it all. OR we have to admit that our time and effort is important and be gracious to allow other people to give us thanks. OR we have to do the work and give people the gift of thanking us…gulp! Which means we have to accept their gifts, words, salutations, without deflecting or minimizing or even ignoring it all. It means we are worthy, they are right in giving thanks for our work, and that interchange provides an opportunity for us both to be grateful for the relationship and exchange.

Receiving is not a bad thing, it is an important thing. It is not selfish. To be recognized and praised for our efforts solidifies our skills and makes us want to do even better next time. Receiving means we are open to hearing from other people and NEED them, like they need us. AND, it means we are worthy of praise, good words and kind deeds. Being acknowledged is the right way to grow people into better people…including us! Praise is the best way to improve performance, attitude, and reciprocity. A thankful heart and mind makes us better parents, leaders, children and neighbors. There is never a wrong time to show an attitude of gratitude.

So this week as we take time to enjoy our blessings let us take time to praise people we know and love for the blessings they bring into our lives. Say words of thanks and kindness and let them now how much their energy and efforts mean in your life. No one ever gets tired of hearing the words thank you…even if they brush it aside.

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