So that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:4
How should I even start today’s topic? In the name of Living In Peace, this has been burning my heart to talk about. How many times do you thank someone that did something for you or bought something for you or gave their time for you. My philosophy always has been to do what you want to do for someone and keep it moving, as in do what’s in your heart for someone expecting nothing in return even a thank you. No one forces you to do anything for another person, and peoples behavior or thinking shouldn’t force you into doing anything you want or don’t want to do. and as such we shouldn’t force anyone to thank us in our behaviors, in our thinking and in our doing just because of what others have done for us.
In my language, yoruba, we have some sayings regarding giving thanks. I’ll talk about two that I hear often.
**Eni taa se loore ti o dupe, bi eniti olosha ko eru e lo ni. Now let’s break it down on the surface
The person that was helped that refused to say thanks, is likeened to someone who lost his properties to a robber.
**Eni to ba dupe ore anan a ri imi gba. Now let’s break this one down for its surface meaning.
The person that gave thanks for yesterday’s goodness will receive more at another time
I have learnt to interpret this in another way, and you might say that I’m wrong, however, the ways of our people back in the day influenced their culture and these sayings are still being practiced till today which I feel, there are some things that need to change, these sayings or proverbs and many more I feel have very deep meanings to the people that lived in those times, my parents are still part of the generation thats living in that era, as you know, culture is something that we are losing fast because the times are changing fast especially for those that are living here abroad. As a Christian and as a modern woman, we are still holding on to these sayings that are wreaking havoc and causing issues in our lives today and for the sake of living in peace, I feel things need to change. Now in regards to giving thanks for what people have done for you, culture dictates you have to thank and thank and keep thanking whoever does something good for you forever? so that as the proverb goes, you wont want to be a robber who has taken other peoples’ properties away or for the thought that you’ll be able to get more next time right? Come on, first of all, when we give, we give willingly, nobody forces us to give, no one will take you to a police station if you don’t give willingly and I am very sure that if I don’t have something to give today doesn’t mean that I wont have something to ogive you tomorrow, regardless of your thanks.
This is my thinking. I love you so much, you’re such a nice person, you have a beautiful soul, you go out of your way to help people, so therefore, 1) when you’re celebrating any kind of achievement? “I will celebrate with you as well” 2) your kids are having a birthday party? “I’ll buy something for them because I love them and I have some money or maybe I can’t buy something for them now but I’ll be sure to be there in person” that’s ok too. 3) oh, you’re getting married, “I will make sure I have some time off so that I can be there with you, whether or not I have money to buy you a gift as well, and if I can’t make it, I hope you won’t be mad, it’s because of some reason I couldn’t get out of”
Now, on the other side, on the flip side, and on the opposite side, some people will say, “Your mum was there at my daughters wedding so I ‘have’ to be there for your daughters’ wedding as well but I have no money so I have to borrow money so she knows I came and bought something also. Or maybe the situation is that, she gave me $50 for my birthday so I’ll have to give Her $50 as well on her birthday when it rolls around, or some people turn theirs into a competition, if they get $100, then at the next party, they’ll in turn give $150 or something of that worth, you’ll be surprised that some people think this way and it’s what gets me so upset especially from the people you know.
One that really gets me upset is when you’re told, that lady will get really upset if you don’t call her and thank her for the gift she gave you. I understand the importance of being appreciative but when the motive is to prevent someone from getting upset and talking about it to other people, then I don’t believe in it. Like this, “can you believe I gave her this and that and she didn’t even say thank you?”. I don’t want to contradict myself, what I mean is, people can genuinely forget to thank you for what you’ve done for them depending on the situation, does that mean then that I’ll now get upset for you not thanking me for what I’ve done for you? This is why my motive for doing anything is not to receive any thanks. My reason for doing anything for anyone is my genuine love for them. Don’t go out of your way for someone and then complain about that which you have done later. Nobody can force you into doing what you don’t want to do. If your motive is to receive “thanks” from the people you help, please don’t do it, the action itself is empty.
If I said thank you physically when you gave me a physical gift or your time gift and I showed my utmost and genuine appreciation for the thought and the time you gave to my family, I believe that should be enough. Is there a need for a phone call follow up, a text, an email? pls let me know, I want to learn Now I understand if I see you again, I can still say, “oh thank you so much for the time and the gift you gave to my family the other day”. But why bother you till embarrassment with my thanks. I’m a face to face kind of person, and I believe “text message” thanks feels kind of impersonal so I don’t do it. This is my thinking. I’m so thankful for my short term memory because it doesn’t let me keep a lot of information in my head and as such… I move on too quickly from life, “I don’t hold on to life too tight” and this pisses some people off a lot but I’m sure it’s because they’re ‘old school’ and our African culture has it that your thank you must be in abundance so that you can get more in the future which is great.
If I have given you my time and my gift, I’ve done it for God for me personally, and I don’t ‘expect’ you to thank me, as in, go out of your way, if you do, I’m very happy, you know, it’s obviously a good thing because that’s what we’ve been taught from when we’re kids, to be thankful, otherwise, I don’t dwell, I’ve done mine for God and I’ve most likely forgotten about it by the next day, but unfortunately, I’ve come to realize that not everyone thinks this way, so for the sake of LivingInPeace, please, don’t hold people unconsciously hostage for a simple “thank you” for the second, third, fourth and fifth time because the empty thanks people will give you will be worthless. And ultimately, don’t announce to others what you have done for someone when they were at their lowest points, only God can reward those deeds, announcing to others I feel diminishes the purpose why you did what you did in the first place. “can you imagine, I’m the one that bought him his first car oh, when he first came to this country, he had nothing then, myself and my wife bought him his first plates he was using to eat.” does that sound right?
Alright you guys, I hope I’ve sparked a conversation in your mind, and I’ll stop right here, Let us remember that at the end of the day, there will be times when people will not remember to thank you for what you’ve done, don’t take it too personal, just move on. Please, let us respect ourselves as individuals and be appreciative when a good deed is done for us and to those who are close to us. Let’s stop giving ourselves high blood pressure for no reason. God willing, we are on this earth for an average of 75-80yrs. Let’s not waste any of that precious time on things that don’t help us grow positively in some way. You have a decision to make, if not now, maybe later, the ball of thanks is in your court. Thank you very much for staying with me till the end, you can like this post by giving it a thumbs up and subscribe to get notified if you’d like to get notified of new posts from me, why wait? It’s free. Don’t forget to love your neighbors as yourself let this be tnhe underlying reason we do anything for anyone and at the end of the day, let us remember that for us to RestInPeace, we all need to be LivingInPeace, Stay blessed.