This I Believe

Griffin - Sudbury, Massachusetts
Entered on February 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: gratitude
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The Ingratitude of Gratitude

The world is dumbed down so much that life is just about the automatic thrills. Nobody can wait anymore; everything is now or never; do or die; hunt or be hunted. People do not watch out for each other in the endless hunt for happiness; after all, everyone is in the same boat and we are all here together. I believe that graciousness is a dying art that needs another Picasso to start a renaissance.

There is never a time to be ungrateful, but there are times to be more grateful than others. For example, someone catches a vase that I just threw across the room. When I threw it, I wanted to break it, but instead they did what they thought was best. I might curse at them for stopping what I wanted to do, but they were at least trying to be helpful. Say I leave a car in neutral on a slight incline and it starts to role away. When a person jumps in front of the car to save it from rolling into the road – that is when I am grateful. Everyone tries to do what they think is best, and for that I am grateful.

When people are gracious, they do it subconsciously. How many times have you had to leave a tip at a restaurant? I have probably done it a hundred times over; but the question is: am I really grateful for the services of the wait staff? Most of the time the answer would be yes, but only subconsciously. I believe that in order to be truly thankful, you have to actually acknowledge someone’s actions consciously. A thank you should come from the heart; it should not be just a phrase that you say without thinking. The dumbing down of society has made people do things that society “makes” them do, like saying thank you without thinking; but is it bad to stray from the path and take the road less traveled by?

A little thanks goes a long way. Do you believe in this statement? I certainly do. When I hold the door for someone and they say, “thank you,” it makes me feel good. And when they don’t say anything and walk by with “seashells” in their ears, don’t you feel offended? I most certainly do.

I cannot tell you how to live your life, but I hope I can leave a mark on you. I try to live my life in a kind and polite manor. Being kind rubs off on others and makes them kind in return. Being gracious and kind is a cycle and it is what makes the world go ‘round.