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Gratitude ranks up there with common sense

And just like common sense, gratitude is not easily available to everyone.

It is especially elusive to young people, the so-called Gen-Alpha and Gen-Z; are parents that busy? I am battling with a teenager I regularly give money to facilitate his transport needs, and save for the rare times I place it in his palm and he mumbles ‘thanks;’ when I send it by mobile money he never acknowledges it or says ‘thank you’.

The ‘corporals’ that raised my generation would find that reason enough to pull out the rod, or take back what they had given you. Today? To each their own, seems to be the working mantra.

And that teenage boy is not alone; people just do not know how to show gratitude even in the big things; one wonders whether they spare time to thank God for anything, or just go to Him with requests and complaints.

Spouses no longer acknowledge each other’s contributions to the home. A wife will shop and fill the refrigerator and her husband will simply start picking the food without any show of gratitude.

A husband will pay up his children’s school fees and his wife will choose that day to complain about the unfixed roof without commenting about the cleared school balances. One wife came into her marriage with four young children from an earlier relationship, and her husband raised them all as his own, paying for their education, health bills, mentorship and basically being a dad to them.

Three of those children have become very successful, but one is struggling. So, the wife, who has never thanked her husband for his generosity towards the children, recently penned a note to him blaming him for the struggling child’s hardships – “after all, you raised him” – without mentioning the three that are flourishing, thanks to him!

That is how she showed her gratitude. Parents do not show gratitude for food at the table anymore – not to God the provider, not to the person who bought it, not to the one that cooked it. And those are the homes raising hapless teenagers like the one I am dealing with.

Don’t let the hustle erode all sense of parenting and mentoring from your schedule. When I see a young man struggling with basic etiquette, I just see the future husband in him causing so much heartache to someone’s well-groomed daughter!

I see a spoilt brat of a girl and imagine the kind of wife she will be to someone’s carefully-raised son in the future. What I know about gratitude is that it catalyzes more giving, more good deeds.

Be it God Almighty, people in your employ, or any benefactors in your life, when you say thank you, it provokes them into doing more good. It goes without saying, ingratitude has the opposite effect. Be intentional!

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