Thanks and Gratitude

 

This is one of my all-time favorite bird shots. This was taken in Kushiro at a feeding location for the Japanese Cranes. This was during my courtship with Setsuko. Sestuko actually invited me to Japan and even paid for my plane ticket. Wow! 

Unlike some people, I am pretty fanatical when it comes to saying "thank you." Whether it is because that was how I was raised or because it is my way of forging a connection, it feels good for me to do that. However, that is not the case for many others. When doing some research on this, I found a fabulous article on the Greater Good Magazine web site: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_cultural_differences_shape_your_gratitude

According to the author and the researchers, this actually can be quite complicated. To simplify things, they look at three forms of gratitude.

  • Verbal gratitude: Saying thank you in some way.
  • Concrete gratitude: Reciprocating with something the child likes, such as offering the person some candy or a toy.
  • Connective gratitude: Reciprocating with something the wish-granter would like, such as friendship or help. 

In short, there is quite a range of forms of gratitude.

Saying ‘thank you’ is the polite thing to do in the United States but, whereas it is incumbent on the Japanese to repay a gift with one of at least equal value, receiving meat after a hunt is not viewed as requiring gratitude among the Inuit, and although the Tamils find it easy to express their thanks nonverbally, it is much more difficult to do so verbally.

"The bottom line? I have a new found respect for how others view what I have taken for granted as a "common courtesy"!

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