Today is Thanksgiving in the US. Thanksgiving and gratitude imply something outside ourselves. When I express appreciation I do it based on three ideas:
- Value - We value the thing for which we are grateful. It is worth more to us than it cost us.
- Source - We’re not the source of that thing.
- Scarce - Were it not for the source, we wouldn’t have the value. That value would not have come to us by that means. It may have come a different way, but it also may not. Therefore our value is scarce.
Gratitude is a natural response when we recognize the source of a thing as being outside ourselves. If there is no source outside of ourselves, our gratitude is illogical at best, narcissistic and egotistic at worst. Being grateful to ourselves for something seems wrong. Gratitude by it’s definition means that the source of our gift and, to some degree, the value we received were outside our control.
We’re often most grateful for those things that cost the source a great deal. If the source gave us value at no personal expense, that’s not a big thing. A Facebook Like or a LinkedIn endorsement jump to mind. They’re easy to give. They cost a click (which is less than a second). In fact, the click may be less effort than the act of not clicking. Contrast those with a handwritten note, a phone call, or a particularly thoughtful gift. The value of the gift may be influenced by the time or energy or effort one took in giving it.
You may not know it but you’ve given me a tremendous gift. Time is a very scarce resource. By your reading our blog you have blessed me in a number of ways.
- You told me my ideas about leadership are not simply my own. I’m grateful to know others share common passions about character-based leadership and making a positive difference.
- You told me the idea of engaging others in the dialogue was valuable. By joining the dialogue or helping fund it, you agree that there is value in engaging others in the conversation.
- You told me our content is helpful by linking to it and sharing it with others. We have a number of people who tweet and share our content every day.
Thank you. By being a character-based leader, you make our world better. By adding your voice to the global dialogue about leadership in any way, shape or form, you make a difference. By joining us on this site, as we help others connect, engage and develop as character-based leaders, you bless me personally and I am grateful. Thank you for another year.
A special thank you goes to our Instigators and Authors who make this whole thing possible. Instigators are those who give tangibly to support the group. Authors are those who create content and dialogue for the group. We are a donation-supported effort. You become a better leader by leading. These people took the action to take the lead, give a gift, and cement their leadership. Connect with them and let’s keep doing what we can to change the world.
Photo © HelgeWll iStockPhoto