Recently, I purchased a new accessory for my water machine that diverts tap water into alkaline water. The salesperson also suggested I buy a kit containing several different sizes of adapters to increase my chances of matching the perfect fit for my diverter.
I went past the thought of receiving his assistance as a way for him to make a sale, and gratefully accepted his professional advice. Without his help, I would have had to trudge my machine into the service department for repair. This would have cost me several additional dollars, and I would be without my machine for two weeks; not a “happy camper.”
My Yoga instructor recently stated that expressing gratitude/gratefulness is a “universal” concept. Gratitude has the power to dramatically alter circumstances. However, there are various cultural differences in ways to express it. In the United States, the most common way to express our gratitude is by a verbal “thank you.” A more concrete way of demonstrating one’s gratitude is by offering or giving something. An even higher level of expressing gratefulness that is less self-focused and more relationship-promoting, is one that conveys genuine concern for another person’s well-being.
For example, I recognize the positive benefits brought to my life by others--teacher, mentor, parent, grandparent, pastor, friend, et al. Some have made great sacrifices for me during my life journey. I have received many cherished gifts. The people and the gifts are treasured as the valuable jewels of my life. I am extremely grateful for not only what I believe came from God, but also for those things He withheld or removed from my life to protect my safety and well-being.
It is so easy to blame someone you perceive as having done an injustice to you. But, if you were to set up a ledger of debits and credits (hurt versus helped), you can be certain that in the final accounting, the credit column would have the greater total.
The friendship between David and King Saul’s son, Jonathan, speaks volumes to the expression of “connective” gratefulness. Saul who was extremely jealous of David, exhibited a Jekyll/Hyde-type relationship toward David. Jonathan showed his devotion to his friend David by taking his part against Saul, who had ordered David to be killed. Jonathan saved David’s life. (I Samuel Chapter 20:30-42)
After Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle and David became King, he never forgot the sacrifice Jonathan made to save his life. After many fierce battles between the House of Saul and the House of David, David brought Jonathan’s crippled son to live at his house forever and treated him like a king’s son. David also willed to him all of Saul’s land and possessions that had been captured.
(2 Samuel 9: 5-13)
Biblical history reveals that opportunities for gratefulness can occur unexpectedly and with surprising results. Remember the story of Hannah, barren for many years, and taunted about her childlessness by her rival who had children? Hannah was finally blessed with a son, and she expressed her gratefulness by giving him to the priest for temple service. Her child became one of the most famous prophets in Old Testament history. His name was Samuel.
Ingratitude is the attitude that someone owed you whatever you received. In other words you are entitled to receive everything. Along that same vein, it’s like getting his or her help and saying they get paid to do a job.
Gratitude displays humility (recognizing that without others, I would not have succeeded), sensitivity (being aware of the feelings of others), and a grateful attitude (expressing sincere thanks). Gratitude is a powerful way to detour some of the ingratitude of life and keeps you from falling off a cliff.
One of the greatest secrets to acquiring an intimate relationship with someone is addressing them by name. Names are important because they identify each person as unique.
Often, people name children after parents, grandparents, famous persons, infamous persons, inanimate objects, and animals. Names carry the power to have the greatest influence upon a person’s life, upbringing notwithstanding. I have invested in a name book. It gives the origin and meaning of the name. Often times upon making a new acquaintance, I will check my book for the meaning of his or her name. The results are often pleasant and surprising.
When you remember to call a person by name, there is an immediate relationship of intimacy established. This may promise a greater response from that person in your future interactions. Even when you express a difference of opinion, speaking the name of the person during the disagreement adds a dramatic dimension and lessens the impact of the disagreement.
Sadly, humankind floods the atmosphere with words that squash intimacy and create touchpoints for division and strife. These names are so powerful it is like being whacked with a baseball bat. You feel helpless and can only stand by and watch the blood spatter everywhere.
Moron, retarded, idiot, stupid, loser, jerk, the f-word, and the n-word are some of the most common. Oh, there are lots more, and some of them get downright dirty by naming specific body parts, gender, or race.
That old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is simply untrue. Not only do they damage a person’s reputation and character, but they dignify evil and may even leave a hole in a person’s soul.
In the Old Testament, God chose to name or rename a person as a way of determining their destiny. Some examples of renaming are Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (“father of many nations”) and Sarai (she that strives) to Sarah (princess). Jacob (supplanter or heel grabber) was changed to Israel (”You have striven with divine beings and prevailed.”)
Throughout the Bible, children were named to announce a personal experience with God. One of the most well-known is the story of the “withered,” well past the age-of-childbearing, Sarah. When she overheard God tell Abraham she would bear a son, she burst into cynical laughter. Later, upon his birth, Abraham named his son Isaac (meaning laughter), memorializing Sarah’s laughter at God’s prophesy that she would bear a son.
The Bible overflows with the names of God. There are no less than twenty-one. Each of these invites us to know about who He is. Each allows us an opportunity to share greater intimacy with Him and to enter the personal, life-changing relationship He offers. His names express Divine manifestation, His character, His relationships to people, and His dealings with them.
When you address a person by their given name it is a significant way to develop an intimate relationship without entering into an imaginative or emotional appeal. On the other hand, calling a person a name that denigrates him or her guarantees that you will be added to the list of those who disrespect you and what you represent.
Affectionate names (e.g. honey, sweetie, baby) are like icing on a cake, but a solid relationship acknowledges the pleasure of knowing that person by addressing him or her by name.