From a young age, we are taught (forced) to say please, thank you and you’re welcome whenever the opportunity presents itself because it is considered the polite thing to do. However, an attitude of gratitude, when enforced, misses the mark of true appreciation for blessings received.
One blessing you always have is the ever-present opportunity to help others — and then, to reap the feelings of euphoria that will tickle your heart afterwards. To remind us of the blessings that a grateful attitude bestows, Harry Tucker will present one weekly article for every letter in the word GRATITUDE. This week’s installment is, G Stands for Giving: How to reap the rewards in our busy lives — and includes an inspiring video…
The G in gratitude stands for giving– before getting. Many of us in our busy lives make promises to others and ourselves that once we have attained a certain level of achievement in our life, then we will give our time and our money to others. But within every day of our lives are moments ripe for giving. And, the rewards are always immediate and greater than any efforts we invest.
Science tells us that when we do good things for others, it increases the amount of serotonin in the body, an organic neurotransmitter that enhances our health, our immune system, our mood, our ability to sleep and our memory. The recipient of your kindness also experiences an increase in serotonin — and what’s even more amazing is that a bystander only observing the act of kindness experiences the same increase in the feeling of euphoria!
Let’s all increase our serotonin levels right now by watching this inspiring one minute ad for Liberty Mutual. Notice that following each random act of kindness portrayed, the bystander who observes the act is the next one to pass it on… (continued after ad)
Try random acts of kindness for yourself. Maybe you are standing in a checkout line and the cashier is abusing a customer. Instead of anticipating your turn to be abused, put yourself in their shoes and when you have the opportunity, say a kind word. It changes everything. Compliment people when you don’t need to. Write more letters complimenting staff for good service.
One day I was traveling to Newfoundland to attend my sister’s wedding. In Antigonish, Nova Scotia, we broke down on a Saturday afternoon and it was critical to catch the ferry that day. I contacted the local Ford dealer and they told me to call their roadside assistance number. I told them that the purpose of that number was to locate the closest Ford dealer and being less than a kilometer away, they were it. A service consultant told me that he would stop over to have a look.
He stopped by, looked at the component that had failed and told me to stay where I was (like I was going anywhere). He left and was gone for quite a while. It was past closing time at the dealership and no one answered the phone there.
As I sat there wondering what to do next, he pulled up in the parking lot and had brought a mechanic. The parts that were needed would have taken three days to order so they cannibalized the only vehicle they had on the lot to get the parts that I needed. They did this after work hours, on their own time. They repaired my truck and then refused payment. They would not accept money on behalf of Ford nor would they accept any form of personal payment.
When I strongly resisted this act of generosity, the salesman shook my hand and said, "Enjoy the wedding and your vacation".
I later wrote a letter complimenting the gentlemen for their exemplary service. Ford Canada was so taken aback that at first they didn’t know what to do with the letter because, as one company employee told me, "We can only file customer letters by the nature of the complaint".
When our life’s journey has come to an end, we will look back and realize that our life was so enriched whenever we took the initiative to give, to help, to compliment, rather than waiting for the right moment, rather than wanting first to receive. The growing number of people benefiting from our unselfish giving will always include ourselves, if we stop waiting for the perfect moment.
Next week, Harry Tucker continues his series on GRATITUDE, reminding us that R is for Responsibility (coinciding with today’s Liberty Mutual insurance commercial entitled, "Responsibility"). When we take responsibility, we will continually reap rewards… Look for the series next Monday.