Recently, I visited a Senior Living home to have lunch with my grandma. While we were looking over the menu, an old man sat down with a young couple at the table behind us. When the waiter handed them the menus, the old man lit up. “I’ve been looking forward to this all week, ever since I knew you were coming,” he said. “I know exactly what I want!”
That little moment made my heart smile, and reminded me how important it is to show kindness and appreciation to those around us. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives, we forget to show gratitude for the people around us. It’s easy to take a step back this time of year and remember what you’re thankful for in your own life, but I want to expand my appreciation.
Thank you to those who feel under-appreciated. We live in a world full of critics. People aren’t afraid to speak their mind, which is great when it brings a variety of perspectives, but not when it comes at the price of being disrespectful or making other people feel inferior. We live in a fast-paced world that’s quick to complain, slow to forgive, and likely to hold a grudge. So for all of those people who have ever felt unappreciated for the hard work they do, I say thank you.
Thank you to those who work in customer service. Working to make people happy is hard, especially when everyone has a critique for the way you do your job or don’t truly appreciate you for trying to help them.
Thank you to those who work to protect us. People I don’t even know and will probably never meet are risking their lives to keep me safe. I can’t wrap my head around how someone couldn’t be appreciative of that. But to those people, thank you for your selflessness and courage. You are most appreciated.
Thank you to those who work hard behind the scenes, even when they know they can’t or won’t be acknowledged for it. Your work is important and what you’re doing matters, but people don’t know that. I appreciate your motivation to continue working hard, even though you may not receive public credit for your accomplishments.
Thank you to those who do jobs that others take for granted. Without you, things would be dirty and unorganized. People appreciate cleanliness in their lives, but they don’t take the time to be grateful for the people who made it that way.
Thank you to those who are managers and leaders. Every business has a system in place. You are the ones abiding by the system and keeping track of everyone who works within it. You sometimes have to make tough or unfavorable decisions, but I appreciate the time you take to come up with a solution. Making people happy is hard, but leading them and trying to keep them happy at the same time is an acquired skill.
Thank you to those who are creative and entertaining. Your ability to bring imagination to the world is appreciated. You are capable of bringing joy to so many people with your gift, even if they do not thank you for it.
Thank you to those who work to keep us healthy and find solutions to fix us when we’re not. You deal with miserable people every day because they are sick or hurting. I appreciate your knowledge and willingness to help solve the puzzle even in unpleasant circumstances.
Thank you to those who work to broaden our knowledge and possibilities in the world. People expect you to teach, invent, or create. They are quick to discredit you when they see unfavorable results, but I appreciate your patience and resiliency that make the world a little bit better every day.
Thank you to parents who do a little bit of all of this every day to provide the best life you can for your children. They won’t understand the hardships, and others will judge the way you do things. I appreciate the love and compassion you show them and your ability to learn and grow through the journey.
Whatever you do, be proud of your work. Be grateful for the people you encounter. You can make a difference to someone in a big way by just appreciating what they do. It may not be easy, but shifting the negative to a positive light may make your daily life a little brighter.