Can’t We All Just Be Grateful?

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by Cindi

I love doing things for people. Whenever I have the chance to help someone, I do it. Why? Perhaps it’s the  feeling I get right after, the feeling of satisfaction after doing a good deed. Or, it could be the fact that I really appreciate it when someone goes out of their way to do something for me.  Whenever someone does something for me, whether they do a good job at it or not, I am always grateful. I mean, that person didn’t have to do anything, yet they do exert their energy and time to do the favor.

Growing up, I was always told to be thankful. If I receive a gift from someone (even though I may not like it), I have to give my thanks expressively. If someone offers me their help, I accept it graciously. Honestly, I’m pretty sure everyone was taught by their parents to behave this way.

Lately, however, I started to realize that maybe my previous disposition may be inaccurate. I have experienced so many moments that contradict my belief. There have been many situations where I felt like I was taken for granted.

For example, Halloween recently passed. A tradition in my school’s band is that every section of the band dresses up together. The flutes dress up together, the baritones dress up together, the clarinets dress up together, and so on. This year, because my friend and I are the section leaders of the alto saxophones, we felt obligated to make majority of the costumes. We didn’t feel upset about this because we’re so used to it; ever since we’ve been part of the band, we were always the ones making the costumes every year. Therefore, this year is nothing new. In fact, we were pretty excited to work on the Halloween costumes.

Things were going pretty well. My friend and I made majority of the costumes (which was expected) and we finished up the final touches. The following day, we passed out the finished parts to the rest of the members in our section. Instead of hearing even a simple “thank you,” my friend and I heard remarks like “Oh my gosh, it has a dent” and “What the heck is this?”

I’m not saying that it’s not okay to express an opinion because I respect what other people have to say. However, it’s difficult not to feel a bit upset when someone is criticizing something I did out of consideration. My friend and I could have left everything for them to do; however, we decided to do everyone a favor by taking on the stress and work ourselves. It hurts to know that the other members don’t give a second thought about the amount of time and effort we put into the project.

Even though this situation upsets me, it doesn’t discourage me from continuing to help others. My compassion for others will never fade. The message I’m trying to address with this post is that people shouldn’t take things for granted and that people should express their gratitude and appreciation. Someone may have gone out of his or her way to help you out. It wouldn’t be right to thank him or her with complaints and criticisms, right?

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