When someone does something for you, you should have the decency to thank him or her. Now, you don’t have to thank people everyday for something they have done for you, but you should be eternally grateful for what they have done for you. When someone has helped you to get to the mountaintop, don’t look at them while you’re on the mountaintop like “who are you?” Reality check: This is the same person who was on the mountaintop before he or she threw you a rope to help you get on the mountaintop. Don’t ever forget this!
You can be on the mountaintop today and in the dark abyss tomorrow. You better start appreciating those people who have demonstrated nothing but a willing to help you. When someone who has proven to be a person who can and will help you, don’t get an attitude with him or her the moment he or she is unable to assist you. To get an attitude with someone who has proven time and time again to be a selfless giver to you, this manifests your true ungratefulness. Ungratefulness has its provenance in selfishness. You may be able to call me many things, but ungrateful is one thing that you cannot truthfully call me.
In no way am I asserting that you need to become a slave to the people who help you. You shouldn’t be a slave for any person! What you should be is an appreciative person who acknowledges the things that others have done and do for you. People often don’t take the time to reflect on how much others are helping them. They simply take for granted the help that others are constantly providing them. I encourage you to never take for granted the help that people give you. What are you going to do when you no longer receive the help that you so desperately need to continue to receive? You can sit back and act like you will survive without it. You probably will survive without their help but you certainly will be significantly impacted by this loss of help over time.
Those who give to others should not hold their generosity over the heads of others either. If you are going to be a true giver, don’t look for people to have a banquet in your honor each time you evince your selflessness. It’s more than reasonable for you to expect a simple thank you each time that you do something for others, however. You are well within reason to expect people to show gratitude for the things you do for them. Just don’t be the type of person who uses his or her abilities as ways to make people do what you want them to do. Moreover, I encourage you to not be the type of person who constantly reminds people of everything you have done and do for them. When you do this, it comes across as you have done and do those things for them for sheer recognition. You can be selfish in the way in which you give too—acknowledge that!
It’s just right to do right!
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison