“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend”
– Melody Beattie
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings”
– William Arthur Ward
I live on the outskirts of a small community and because I love the peace and quiet of my home (ok, I dey tire to waka) I go into the community on rare occasions. A few weeks ago when the belle began to rumble I left my quiet in search of food. As I approached the Mallam who sold meat he put his lunch aside. I greeted him, told him the amount I wanted. I’m terrible at bargaining so I saved us both the headache. He handed the bag over when he was done. I paid, said thank you, told him to enjoy his meal and left.
Two days ago I was back at his table. From greetings, we went straight to amount and he got to it. Then he raised his head and said “Since wey I dey sell meat for this village, nobody don tell me thank you after I sell meat for them. Thank you for the thank you wey you tell me the other day”. He had a smile on his face and his eyes had this brightness to them. I didn’t know he recognised me. I didn’t think I left an impression to be remembered by. I smiled back at him, went on to ask how he was faring and talk about how hot the weather was (By the way, e ku heatwave TNC, this sun can fry somebody). He said he was happy someone appreciated him and that simple show of gratitude went a long way.
It got me thinking. How often do I say thank you for the services I receive from others even when it’s their job and I pay for it? Like the cab and keke drivers who help me move around, the lady who sells airtime down the road, the mai ruwa guy who supplies water, the guy who takes out the neighbourhood trash or that person whose job is to open doors for me to walk through at malls and eateries? A thank you to tell them I appreciate them. How often do I say thank you to my friends and family for simply being friends and family or how often I say thank you to God for the things he has provided, for the life that I have and for the opportunities given that I have made whole?
We are all so busy in today’s world, lots of things have become common place. We have become oblivious to the little gifts in our lives, always waiting for some earth shaking event to show gratitude to the people who contribute to our well-being in one small way or the other. A smile to a stranger, a thank you to the doorman, a hug to friend, a show of concern to our neighbour… I realized that little acts of kindness and a show of love and gratitude may just be what they need to get through the day, like the Mallam who didn’t mind the scorching sun over his head and happily served customers because of a “thank you” from weeks ago.
We may not always be in the best of moods or the highest of spirits as we go about our daily life but if we make the conscious effort to nurture an attitude of gratitude, it would gradually become a part of us and as we continue to share this love, we uplift the people we meet one soul at a time and we in turn become a fountain of love ourselves.
A grateful heart is a loving heart.
Thank you for reading!
Image via A Bottled Rose