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Giving thanks now and all year long

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Andy and Renie Bowman

By Dr. Andy and Renie Bowman

Seems like I am noticing a trend – and not a healthy one. As a whole, our nation is losing the ability to pronounce some words. In fact, people seem to have forgotten some words exist in the English language. 

Phrases like “thank you,” “thanks so much,” “I appreciate that,” seem to have slid into a dark hole somewhere and vanished. And if you do hear those magic words spoken, it is more of an auto-reply rather than a sincere response.

Today, people seem to feel so entitled to services and products that there is very little appreciation shown to the worker who delivers it. Or maybe folks have gotten so trapped by their personal worries, fear and woes that they don’t even realize they are not really connecting with others anymore. After all, when most of your focus is all about you, it can be difficult to remember to look into the eyes of another and genuinely care about their feelings. 

Either way, it means we are seeing our United States citizens evolve into people who are acting like they are the only ones living and breathing.

Think about it. When was the last time you sat down with someone who was a positive part of your childhood and thanked them? And when was the last time you really noticed the depressed-acting young teller at your bank, or the older lady who slowly and painfully works her job at Walmart? Has anyone ever heard a sincere word of appreciation come from your lips? 

Or is your attitude more “Hey, that’s their job, deal with it. After all, I have to.” Yes, absolutely, it is an employee’s job, and they certainly should earn their pay by doing good work. But here is my point: Everyone needs and thrives on being appreciated. All of us need to know that we are seen and that what we do matters to someone. (Yes, if you’re being honest, you would agree that includes you.)

Gratitude is very important in a healthy society. Whether it is expressing thankfulness to your pouting teenager who obeyed your request that their bedroom be vacuumed and fumigated, your local car mechanic getting your car back to you by closing time, or the waitress who isn’t snarling in your face as she takes your order.
We all need to play nice with each other. Because when we don’t bother making that effort for the other person’s sake, then we start to become self-centered, and blind to everyone else. And that begins a downward spiral of me-centeredness, where ME and mine is all that matters. 

That attitude is viral and infectious, eventually descending into a broken society. And that is the beginning of the end. 

This can also refer to the world’s end of time, where the Bible says in II Timothy 3:2, “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy.”

Gratitude is important. 

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