Sustaining Gratitude in Society

Sadly, many folks are too busy running the rat race to say, “Thank you.”  I remember sitting in a Sunday School class of young students during my college experience at Southern University.

I remember one student saying how ungrateful he had been toward his parents.  I also felt guilty.  My parents bought me my first car while I was in high school; most students did not have cars. 

I had envisioned receiving a brand new car.  Well, I didn’t. I got an old 1973 Dodge Charger.  I was disappointed.  But, I fell in love with that old car which I later called “The New Wave Cruise mobile.”  My car was far more dependable than most automobiles. 

I remember never having said “thank you” for my car – I had also taken my parents for granted.  Our society doesn’t teach us that being appreciative is a virtue.  This article examines the importance developing a spirit of gratitude as a competitive advantage toward employability.

Organizations should incorporate gratitude into their corporate culture.  Managers and workers would operate differently.  This attribute is all about character. Gratitude can be defined as the quality of being thankful; it is a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.  In the fast pace of industrial living, people aren’t saying “thank you” to anyone. Most people feel they deserve any kind act done for them.  

In fact, a selfish society creates a generation of ungrateful children.  Consequently, our children grow up with this huge expectation of social pampering. 

Why else would a) waiters expect tips without good service, b) students expect good grades without the effort, and c) couples want great relationships without any communication.  All of these unrealistic expectations make “thank you” less important. 

As the economy continues to spiral downward, organizations attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition. It starts with the greatest asset…people! High performing organizations understand this critical point! Badly run organizations don’t!

When you show someone some gratitude after they assist you, that individual will likely continue to help or do more for you. However, if you are ungrateful, many times people will not do any more for you. Businesses are no exception.  Showcasing a spirit of gratitude can be very rewarding and can assist in transforming an organization’s competitive advantage.

Discuss your personal experiences on this topic.

© 2011 by Daryl D. Green