Sunday, June 14, 2015

Thank You

I have spoken many times about the whole "thank you" issue. But it has come up yet again, so I feel like there is more to say.

In short, and if you do not want to read all that follows, if you give someone money/help, I highly recommend/suggest that you do it WITHOUT CONDITION OR EXPECTATION. Do not even "expect" a reply, or a thank you.

If you want to know why, please read on.

So today someone tells me we are taught as a child to say thank you. To them, it is a big - BIG - deal. When I tell this person that there are some who have given, expecting nothing in return, I get told that if I had thanked them, perhaps they would gave helped more. Not the first time I have heard this "gem."

Many would call this kind of statement, "helpful."  To me it is a guise of helpful, but more like placing blame on me for my circumstances for my apparent rudeness and also rubbing salt in an already raw wound.

And here is why...

In the best of all possible worlds, gratitude and thank yous are wonderful things. But even in the best of all possible worlds, things do not always go the way we like the to. Things are missed or forgotten.

Now, if you have someone who is not currently residing in one of these Best of All Possible Worlds, all bets should be off. Instead, we seem to shine a spotlight and say, "See?! See?! THIS is why you and your life suck. You are just so rude." 

Now, never mind the fact that the playing field at that moment is not equal, it really could be a whole different field. It is very difficult in a crisis to focus on anything other than the crisis. Heaven forbid in the midst of a crisis you need to also reach out for help.

You are then having to not only manage the details of the crisis, you have to handle your daily life affairs, and now you have to make sure you do good PR for the help you need and publicly ask for.

If a person in that type of circumstance has someone who can handle the details, great. But even then, it can be a big - and sizable - stress for that person, too. And it often goes unacknowledged because many do not consider all that must be dealt with in circumstances like those.

But if a person is in that type of experience, and has to manage to deal with EVERY-freaking-thing alone, it gets even more complicated. It is even worse when it is a physical situation that impairs. So not only are they possibly in pain, they are having to contend with a host of issues that demand to be addressed. In a case where chemo is involved, good luck with the whole memory thing - on top of everything else. A memory thing, by the way, you can explain until you are blue in the face, but many do not fully understand - if at all.

People tell me they have no idea what I am going through, but then feel they have a right to judge how I am going through it.

I told this person today that it is difficult to be judged, and found lacking - especially when I am all too acutely aware of how much I do lack.

If you give, give with love. Consider the gratitude as the cherry on top. I am not advocating that we shouldn't say thank you, but rather that whether it is said, or not, should not be a pivotal judgment point - especially in cases in which people are dealing with major issues.  
I have done my best to try to thank people for what they have done. I am hardly perfect, but I am also not the ungrateful, horrible person some want to paint me out to be, either.

Thank you, as always, to all who have supported me during this time. I could not have gotten this far without you. If I missed thanking you, please know it was hardly intentional. Many more things than I would like get missed.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that people should give without expectation, but as a personal fundraiser I find that even when people say they don't need any acknowledgement for what they've given - a thank you goes a long way. I've read a few studies that speak to why people give - and it's to feel good/to know that they are making a difference in the world, in their communities, etc. Even when people give anonymously, they expect to be thanked. I think that it merely speaks to our humanity - the need to be acknowledged for both the good that we do. I can't speak to personal fundraising -- I've tried to raise money for you and have failed miserably and I'm not sure why. And you've always thanked me, so I'm not what's going on. And again, if there is anyway I can help, let me know.