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Thursday, August 21, 2008


When I was sixteen, a girl said to me, “You are not a very grateful person.” I was, needless to say, shocked by the comment and quite honestly, probably would have back-slapped her if I thought I could have gotten away with it.

Truthfully, I wasn't sure how to handle such a declaration of bad character. Frankly, I wasn’t even sure what her statement meant. I didn't want to process and deal with it. At that time in my young life, I didn’t really feel like I had anything to be grateful for (I realize now that thought was a mistake). I was emotionally confused when I was sixteen. I didn't even live with my parents. To be told that I needed to be thankful for my life at that point was like telling me I needed to jump off a cliff.

I didn't talk about my feelings back then--good or bad--and that meant that if I was grateful for anything that I was not going to express those feelings at all. I didn't feel like I could trust anyone with my emotions and I was afraid that I would be ridiculed for not having "normal" feelings like most of my peers. So when I was given a roof over my head and good food to eat, I acted like I deserved it (even though I really felt I did not). When I was given an allowance, I acted like I earned it (I really felt I was not worthy). When I was blessed with a nice family, I withdrew (I really wanted to be a part).

I cannot really blame anyone for thinking that I was an unthankful girl. I did not behave like I was grateful. Is this anyone's fault besides my own? No, I don't believe so. So, did I act very grateful when I was sixteen? Probably not. Has that girl’s statement been seared in my memory forever? You bet. You can also bet that as I have grown older I have remembered that smart girl’s critique of my attitude and I have tried to change my future through having a thankful disposition.

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern


A Mac said...

be thankful for what you have, because some people out their have more than you but their is also people that have way less then you! I need to do that statement but it is hard to. ( not telling you to)

good Post!

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