Gratitude – A Puff of Smoke on a Windy Day

Many years ago I was helping a friend (I'll call him Jack) with a particularly contentious political campaign. He wasn't campaigning for himself but for an issue that he felt very strongly about and was willing to support with his own funds.

This same man and his family are philanthropists. Over the years, they had donated millions of dollars to things like scholarships for children, the environment, hospitals, etc.

Despite Jack giving to the community for many, many year, the opposition took the low road of personally attacking this man and his family and choosing to believe that since he was wealthy, he must have a hidden agenda.

I mentioned to him one day when it was just the two of us talking about the campaign that I was puzzled and dismayed that a group of people, for whom he had done so much, wouldn't be more grateful. I have never forgotten his response – and you shouldn't either.

He said, "Listen closely, Bob. You need to understand that gratitude is the most fleeting of emotions. If you do something because you want people to thank you or like you or love you – you're doing it for the wrong reasons. You do it because you believe it is the right thing to do."

Seth Godin, in today's blog posting says, "…marketers of stuff have tried to offer that
stuff as a replacement to the thing that
children/consumers/employees/customers/spouses really seek, which is
connection and meaning and belonging and love."

I think Jack would agree with Seth. That's what really counts.

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