In this age of entitlements, gratitude can seem to be vanishing. Watch any TV commercial and you’re told over and over what you “deserve”. Hear enough of that and you start believing it. With what I see on the freeways, hear in stores and observe anywhere there are two people or more, I think the general populace is well on its way to making “please” and “Thank you” obsolete phrases.
No one holds a door open anymore, because then they wouldn’t get to be the first one in. No one gives up their seat on a bus for a mother with children, let alone a senior or disabled citizen. Don’t bother trying to get out of a driveway if there’s a lot of traffic. No one is going to give you a break because they might have to slow down for 5 seconds.
This why I am constantly amazed and touched by the acts of gratitude I see with the clients we serve in motels. I’ve seen more graciousness in their little fingers than I’ve observed in people with much, much more to be grateful for. Our clients don’t just say “Thank you” because they don’t want to offend us and want us to keep coming back. They say it because they mean it!
I was talking to a lady last Tuesday with a “World View” that made me absolutely ashamed of myself. I have so much and she has so little, yet she is thankful for literally every scrap she has and has never fails to greet us with a genuine smile and attitude of gratitude.
She told me that earlier in the day she was washing her hands and she thanked the Lord that she had running water. She thanked Him that she had a toilet, and thanked Him yet again because she has a bed to sleep in. This isn’t someone in a third world country. This is someone in one of the richest counties in the country, Orange County, California. She can’t count on always having those things in her life, so she’s going to be grateful for them while she has them.
She had a brace on her leg because she had a knee injury. She told me she was thankful because she has a leg that hurts, when every day she sees people on the streets missing limbs.
I wish more people could meet this lady. There would be less complaining and a lot more gratitude going on. Think you have anything to complain about? Think about this dear lady that we have the privilege of serving, and think again.