There are some things that we do because we want to, and just the doing of those things is a pleasure in itself. We don’t expect recognition, or seek it, and that is quite okay.
Sometimes we have to do things that we’d rather not do, and the only value in those activities is the recognition that it brings. When you don’t like shovelling manure, you want to get paid for having a ‘crappy’ job! I don’t mean those days when the scent of manure makes you euphorically pastoral. I mean the days when it’s a miserable drudge, and you don’t want to do it. You do what you have to do, and you gather your pay cheque, and use that money to buy something you need or you want. You sacrifice a little something for the filthy lucre.
Sometimes your sacrifice is your time. Sometimes your investment is emotional. Sometimes you go out of your way to help someone when you’d rather be doing your own thing. You may feel obligated to help out due to friendship or family commitments. You ‘lend’ a friend or family member $500 knowing full well that you’ll never see it again. You make a sacrifice on their behalf, and it’s fine. You do what you have to do. It’s not out of line to expect to hear a simple, “Thank you.” Not marching bands or ticker tape parades, just a simple, “I appreciate your effort.” It’s nice to have someone recognise that you have helped them out at some personal cost.
I’m staring at my 20 year old couches at the moment, swathed in their dog safe covers, and I’m feeling quite grumpy that I don’t have the replacement ones that I’d been visiting at ScanDesign for 4 years. I dreamed about them. They were $10,000. I visited them a lot, but they were well out of the budget, due to the expenses of the household. The couches have been discontinued, and so I’ll never be able to get them now. If I had not been making sacrifices on behalf of someone else, I could have had my couches. It makes me see sad to realise that I sacrificed my fantastic leather, fully reclining, gorgeous eKornes couches for someone who has turned out to be completely unworthy.
It makes me so upset that I have wasted my efforts for years being helpful and supportive to someone who plainly needed to learn about sacrifice and independence the hard way. Sometimes when we try to ease someone’s path, we deprive them of experience they need to appreciate the value of their own efforts, and to be appreciative of help when it comes. I regret this person’s ignorance and attitude, while I mourn the loss of opportunity that I could have given someone who would have appreciated it more (like my dogs or myself).
I confess to being more than a little concerned, because once this person was respectful, kind, considerate, and responsible. Things change apparently. I know better, now. I won’t be offering support any longer. I’ll cut my losses and I’ll invest where the return is better.
inspiring whales… April 20, 2012
Tags: appreciation, divers, entrapped, Facebook, gratitude, humpback whale, invocation, Rotary
On my Facebook feed today was the inspiring story of divers who rescued an entrapped humpback whale, and the inspiring appreciation she showed for their efforts.
Attending to due diligence, I investigated the story and discovered on the urban legends.com site (I sure hope no one ever discredits them) that the story was in fact true.
Here is a link to the original newspaper article relating the event that happened in 2005 off the coast of San Francisco.
I really like how the anonymous Facebook poster summarized the significance of this experience:
Both giving gratitude and receiving it provide joy. While troubles shared are halved, gratitude doubles joy. I like the math.