Don’t take anything in your life for granted
This week we sent each of our grandchildren a Valentine with an individual personal encouraging message and a gift card. They all emailed their “Thanks.”
The focus of the teenage grandchildren was on the card and message not the gift card ,although they did mention it. To them it was the message of love, encouragement, recognition of their special abilities and accomplishments was far more important than a gift card.
Everyone needs to know they are loved and are special in some way. Valentine’s Day is an excellent opportunity for us to tell those close to us we love them and how important they are to us. We should never take those close to us for granted and just assume they know we care about and appreciate them.
We can get busy and just assume dinner will be cooked, clothes washed, the yard taken care of or money will just show up in the family checking account. It is a common theme in country music. “I didn’t tell her how much a loved her. Now she’s gone and I’m lonely.”
People always tend to assume the worst. They will assume you don’t care unless they actually hear or read the words, “I love you.” If you missed the opportunity this week to tell your significant other you love them, it isn’t too late. People need to know they are loved.
When we work with our high school seniors on leadership we teach the importance of sincere appreciation. We teach them how to give sincere praise and even have them practice on their family members. At one practice, I asked them to tell us what the result was when they praised a family member. One young man said he thanked his mother for cooking a delicious dinner. She was so surprised she dropped the meat platter. He had never told her that before.
Studies show the main reason people leave a job usually isn’t money. They feel unappreciated. They think their employer doesn’t care about them or their needs. They feel they are being taken for granted. It doesn’t take much. Appreciation is free. When I was in college one of my summer jobs was working in the kitchen at a country club. The hours were long and we didn’t have air conditioning. After a big banquet, all of us cooks would sit down with chef and have a beer. I still remember him saying, “Good job men. We fed 300 people tonight.” It made it easier to come to work the next day. We were all willing to work harder because we knew chef recognized our efforts.
We should never take our employees, vendors and especially our customers for granted. Taking our customers for granted makes it easier for them to leave us for almost any reason. When we leave a Walt Disney Theme park the staff is at the exits wearing big white Mickey Mouse gloves waving good bye and thanking us for coming. They ask us to come back soon. Lynnda and I always do.
It isn’t just people we can take for granted. We have a lot to appreciate. It is easy to think about what we don’t have or what we lack. Maybe we need to start by looking at all we do have. It may change our attitudes. I never fully appreciated being able to walk, run or drive a car and go where ever I wanted whenever wanted until I was injured and in a wheelchair and couldn’t do any of those things. I couldn’t go to the post office or grocery store. I needed my wife or someone to drive me wherever I went. I learned how many places were inaccessible if you were in a wheelchair. I never thought I would look forward to getting into a walker. Now that I don’t need a walker or leg braces I feel free again. I can drive. I will never look at anyone in a wheelchair or a walker the same way again. Personal mobility is a gift we should appreciate.
Last week I mentioned the climate protester that wants to ban the use of fossil fuels except when his comfort is affected. He didn’t want to cut off fossil fuels (natural gas) to his dorm. It is important for us to know where things come from. Thousands of everyday products would go away if fracking was ever banned since oil and gas are the feed stocks for petrochemicals.
I was a guest last week on a New York City radio show. I was asked what would happen is fracked gas was banned. It was eye opening when I told them, “It is all fracked gas unless it comes from a landfill.” There would be no more gas heat or gas stoves. We are blessed to have in the USA large natural gas reserves. I will explain petrochemicals on the next program. We had a fun and educational show.
I encourage you to look at all you have and all you can do. Never take loved ones, friends, employees, vendors or customers for granted. Think about all of those gifts we have like eyesight, hearing and mobility. There are many people that don’t have one of those gifts.
Make sure we let people, especially those closest to us, know how important they are to us. Let them know you care. Make it a priority today to tell your children, spouse or significant other that you love them. Saying “I love you” is simple but essential. Thoughts to ponder.
Kozera, email@example.com, is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a master’s in environmental engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. He is the author of four books and numerous published articles.