Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 68 of Your Year to Wellness: Ingrates

Even the birds sing songs of graitude
Ingrates and the Power of the Grateful

Yesterday, I got an email from one of my wonderful sisters. She was wondering why there seems to be so many ungrateful people and why when you work harder and harder for them, they become less and less grateful.

Ingratitude does seem to be at an all-time high.  When I was growing up, “please” and “thank-you” was the norm but nowadays a child saying “Thank-you” becomes a news flash item.

When my siblings and I were young, we had very little, but if we ever complained even a bit, my mother would call us ingrates. That word in her mouth was like a curse and was more painful than any other name I was ever called.

Just writing the word has brought back memories and I can see my mother standing with a hand on her hip, making a face like she smelled something; “You damn ingrates,” she’d say. As a mother, I can feel her pain. She’d worked double shifts at a tiresome job just to keep a roof over our heads but like any other kid, we wanted what someone else had.

I hated being called an ingrate, so I set out to become grateful but somewhere in the 80’s when we were dancing to Material Girl and trying to see who could die with the most toys, we decided that our children would have all the things that we did not. So we gave then cars, credit cards and all the cell phones they could use. A child proved that they were loved by showing off the stuff they got from their parents.

My children told me that when they were in high school, they were teased because they didn’t have cell phones. I asked them how they felt about it and they laughed and said, “Mom, we didn’t have a cell phone, but everybody begged for the homemade lunches that Aunt Chrissy made for us.”

I said that they should have told their friends to get on their phones and order some lunch.

Here’s what I think and I’d like you to ponder this throughout the day;

·         People are ungrateful because the ego gets in the way causing them to believe that they deserve and are entitled to all that they get.

·         For some people, saying thank-you is like an admission of debt and they simply don’t want to feel indebted.

·         When a person is not grateful, they can never be satisfied because they can’t see when enough is enough.

·         Like everything else, gratitude is a learned behavior.

·         Those who know, must teach

Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one came back to say “thank you” and to that one, Jesus said "You have been made whole."

Our gratitude makes us whole, because it completes the transaction. I believe that the leper parable also represents the fact that only 10% of most interactions are made complete through gratitude. It’s up to those of us who live a life of gratitude to teach others to be grateful.

Here’s what you can do:

·         Say thank you as often as possible; it rings like a bell in the Universe

·         Kindly teach others that a little gratitude goes a long way

·         We can all be more grateful, find ways to show it say it and live it.

Be you, Be Love, Be Grateful,

Bertice Berry, PhD.

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