Of Thankfulness

By Sumangal Haldar

You can listen to the article here or read the transcript below…

In an attempt to check the validity of this topic, which finds prominent resonance in age old teaching-learning material and is now considered as a bygone trait by many, a survey was done. The topic was Thankfulness or Gratitude. Only in the year 2000 it found a place to be considered for a “systematic study, within psychology.” As the said feeling is, natural and simple, so was the survey method. Customers of various jewelry shops in a designated area were called and thanked. In the other designated area, the customers were called to announce a sale. The objective of the study was to see that in which category the customer would respond the most. Results showed that 70% of the customers called to express thankfulness returned to the shop for another purchase; while merely 30% of those who were called to announce a sale in the shop, returned for another purchase. Take-away was simple: Relationships, formal or informal, grow with the expression of gratitude.

How much do we prefer being thanked in the deeds we do; but ignore or forget to do the same for others?

In a post lockdown meeting with a dear one, the conversation took a turn where the person started talking about how he and all his fellow colleagues are compelled by his organization to be daily present in-self at the physical address of their work place, though all the work they need to do was online. This could be fairly done while sitting at home. Someone in the group asked whether salary deductions were also done, to which the said person answered in negation.

Another person, sitting in another part of the world (had he joined this conversation) would have said: he is working from home, with a salary cut, and increased time of work, to the tune of being increased to 18 hours a day.

Meanwhile, another person is at home with no engagements, because he has been laid off. All this because he was that extra person in the company who was eating up all the profits a company could earn!

Yet another person is working day and night at his own business enterprise, trying to meet the new normal of market. With minimal turnover of customers his income is touching the minimal base, yet he is operating with burdened pockets.

So many things to consider and ponder over, to see the trouble raging around us. But only one thing that can keep our spirits high, and that is thankfulness. Thankfulness for being alive, thankfulness for earning so much so as to meet our needs, thankfulness to be walking around and seeing the world around us.

Thankfulness does not only bring joy to the receiver; it gives a sense of satisfaction to the person who is thankful. A thankful person makes a habit to seek happiness around, and when one seeks something he definitely finds it. Our teaching-learning had this essential ingredient in it…as I write/read the pre-primary song reverbs in my ears:

There are two little magic words that can open any door with ease,
One little word is thanks and the other little word is please.

The author is an educationist and trainer involved at various levels of teaching and educating students.

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