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Tips to Show One's Gratitude

Updated on May 25, 2013

Act of Gratitude


Academic Education


What is Education?

Everybody knows that in life, education is a must to make a mark. Here the question is what we mean by education. Is it only academic education or it has a broader spectrum? There is always a great scope of academic learning. From school to college then to university and further going for higher studies along with researches and so on. Those who are hungry for knowledge they hardly take a break from gaining it. It is a common belief that there is no end to education. You are always a learner and it meets end, only when life ends.

Enrolling oneself to an academic institution, continuing with syllabus based education and piling up one’s cupboard with merit certificates are not the only gateway to education. No doubt, this type of education has a competitive edge over another candidate for a professional life but in fact education has a very wide meaning.

I mean education is not confined to academics alone. There is a kind of education which we receive from our life. It’s a real life education. It starts from home at the very moment when a baby starts to understand things around him. This type of learning does not offer merit certificate at the end of the term and not requires piling it up. Rather, if this knowledge is gained properly then life itself becomes a merit certificate.

True and Practical Education

Thank you letter from John F. Kennedy
Thank you letter from John F. Kennedy | Source

Definition of True and Practical Education

True education is learnt at the early stage of our lives. Life gives an immense opportunity to express the real life education. Life is full of experiences and that’s where our real life education always comes in action and gets enhanced. This education is comprised of gratitude, love, forgiveness, selflessness, politeness, are just a few names from a long list. In short, it is the education of good attitude and good manners. The education is incomplete without the true and practical education. Academic education makes a man successful but real life education makes a good human being and if both the types of education are properly gained then it makes a perfect and balanced human being.

See for example, the copy of the thanking letter from John F. Kennedy, the President of USA. This letter says it all that a powerful person like Kennedy maintained his decorum by expressing his humble behavior. So, whatever or whoever you are, the true education lies in one's humility. Be grateful to others for their help and support is a must for a true, practical and balanced life.

Education of Gratitude

Let’s discuss about the education of gratitude. What is it? It is a learning of being grateful. In life, every human being takes an amount of help from one or the other person. The amount of help may vary from one person to another person. Some take a huge amount of help and some may take a little bit of help but the fact remains that people take one another’s help in life. Thus, when we are taking help from one another then in return there is a job to be done. People help because one wants to help and no pressure can force anybody to help willingly. So, don’t they deserve something special for helping someone with their valuable time, energy, emotional support, money, hard work and much more? ‘Yes’, they do.

Teach the Lesson of Gratitude during Childhood

Every helper deserves thankfulness. One who receives help must always remember that he is obliged by the helper. It’s time to be grateful. This comes under good manners and an important aspect of a real life education. Doing something for others is the helper’s choice but by taking the help the receiver has to be thankful to the helper from their heart. If you fail to be grateful that means you lack good manners. If one is grateful towards another then one has to express it through words and deeds of thankfulness. Now, the question is how a child can be taught to be grateful. This is a real life education which one must be taught in childhood itself which helps a child to become a man of character. If the child is not taught to be thankful then the child will never feel obliged. He /she will take it for granted. They will consider it to be their right and so they will not hesitate from being rude to the helpers either.

Some suggested ways to teach children to be thankful:

1. The job of the elders such as the parents, guardians, teachers or any other senior well wishers, is very wide. They must let the kids know the meaning of the word ‘grateful’. Then explain the children the reasons for which an action is termed as an act of gratefulness and also make them understand why one should be thankful towards the person who acted gratefully.

2. It is the responsibility of the elders to carry forward the notion of gratefulness. They have to instill this attitude in the children by constantly reminding and preaching them the importance of being thankful. At one point a child will resist to this teaching so I feel that the next very effective step will be…

3. …No person, not even a child, would constantly like to receive same kind of preaching. In such a case everybody starts feeling bored very soon and children gets bored even at the drop of a hat. Constant preaching sounds as a lecture to the children so elders, do take a break. Instead of becoming a lecturer opt for an alternative, such as story books. Give the children some story books to read or read out to them and that must contain thanks giving message. The message conveyed through story books will make a strong impact upon a child because anything through fun is worth remembering while the words of the elders are always monotonous.

4. Well, the elders should not give up just because they sound monotonous. It is in every way the task of the elders and so they must keep on prompting the children to be grateful. Instantly, the children may not give an importance to the matters which are being taught to them but someday they will respond to such teachings. One day a late relative of mine told me about a child’s responding ability that it is the task of the seniors to teach the juniors without any kind of break. It may sound monotonous and at the beginning may yield no result but in the long run children will abide by the teaching. Actually, it’s the nature of a child who responds gradually.

5. One thing the parents and the guardians must follow while teaching the art of gratitude is that they must always reflect the same attitude in their own action. Just by saying, the children will not follow but if the elders act as role models then by watching them the children will definitely try to act accordingly.

6. Never force the children to say ‘thanks’. It is proper to prompt them to say ‘thanks’ but suppose a child goes in denial then it is better to leave them at that point. Any pressure upon a child will work as negative trait. Sometimes it is their mood and it is better to respect their mood and later the seniors can explain it to them in a very loving way. Usually, children by nature are always thankful when they receive something from others but sometimes they shy away from expressing their thankfulness. That mood should be handled with care and not by any force.

7. Usually, I have noticed that the parents and the guardians take a child for granted. In our daily life the elders take some help from the kids of the house and then it becomes very important to thank the child. After receiving a help from a kid if the seniors show their gratitude instantly then the child will remember the act of gratitude very distinctly. This will be a lesson for the kid’s future.

Put a child into a real life situation to gain a real life education. Usually, create some situation for the children through which the kids may get an opportunity to learn to be grateful. After taking a small help pay your gratitude to the child but deliberately do not express your thanks after a huge help from the child. Observe how the child reacts. Usually, they will feel a bit sad. Lovingly, explain the child the importance of gratitude. The kids must understand that when a person receives thanks for his gratefulness then the person feels happy otherwise he will feel sad and demoralized. When a person helps another then the helper deserves to be happy and so the receiver must be thankful.

Try the Suggestions and See the Difference

Whatever the suggestions I have offered in this hub to express gratitude are all my own thoughts. I personally apply it upon my ten year old son. He is definitely learning but I must accept that he shows his own tantrums to be grateful. In such a position, I feel, I must not be in a hurry to teach him the act of gratitude. I believe, if I follow the suggestions of mine quite patiently then it will bear a fruit. My kid will learn the act of gratitude and will serve its purpose whenever required.


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