I've wanted to write about this topic for a couple of weeks. And when I saw this image from Indexed this morning, I figured it was a sign.
Jessica's simple illustration communicates how shallow we are with our gratitude. We say "thank you" so many times during the course of a day -- when someone opens a door for us, when someone serves us water, when someone picks up something off the floor -- it's almost an auto-response. Without a thought. Without a pause.
But when someone does something we truly should be grateful for, do we take the time to express our gratitude? And then is a simple lightweight "thanks" enough? And what about the people closest to us -- the ones we take for granted -- how often do we sincerely take the time to communicate our appreciation for all they do?
Same goes for apologies. It's really easy to say "sorry" to strangers and acquaintances but so difficult to convey our heartfelt remorse to the ones we love the most. Why? Because of our inflated egos? Because it's too hard to accept we were wrong? Because it's too shameful? Because it means taking responsibility? Because it means we're accepting what jerks we've been?
There can be a thousand reasons ... but it just comes down to one thing -- we don't like acknowledging our failings. We don't like being wrong.
They seem so simple, but these two words are the ones we use the least in our most-valued relationships. Saying them is easy. Feeling them requires selflessness and introspection. Realization and acceptance. Humility and frailty.
We shower others with these expressions, but leave the ones we cherish impoverished.
Don't hold out on your loved ones. They won't just "know" -- these things need to be said, expressed, shown somehow. And most times, expensive gifts aren't required to do the task.
A simple but sincere expression of emotion is enough.