You know what I miss? Unconditional gratitude.
Not even unconditional support, which, if you’re really lucky, you might get from your parents, one friend, or your partner. Just unconditional gratitude.
Everyone always wants something. Most opportunities are disguised requests. Because even the people closest to you don’t think about your needs first. That’s human nature. We think about our own and then hope that, maybe, our needs will align with those of others. And, sometimes, they do.
But, most of the time, they don’t. So we’re not really helping. If I ask you to join me at an event, is it because you’ll benefit or because I don’t want to go alone? If I want to spend more time with you, do I want to infect you with my joy or hope you’ll soften my misery? We can genuinely want to help and think we do, but might still end up projecting our own fears and ideas on another.
The majority of even the nicest things we do is, ultimately, about us. Not the recipients of our generosity. Go through a couple of incidents in your head. It’s true. And it’s shocking how deep this runs.
Since this “feature” has been hardwired into our brains in times of ancient survival, it has lasted us all the way to modern office warfare and is, thus, almost impossible to rewire. But we can choose not to use it.
We can just say “thank you” instead. No further questions. Not this time.
That’s how I want to end the year.
Thank you for being you. For all the mistakes you made and the flaws you found that you wanna change. For the times you did and the times you could not, for one day they will all add up.
Thank you for showing up. To work. To sports. To parties, dates, and family events of all sorts. To your morning run, to your friend’s emergency, to anything fun, and to all kinds of catastrophes.
Thank you for trying your best. I know it didn’t always do, but it’s really nothing but a test. A test of courage, patience, grit, faith, perseverance, and humility. A test designed for all of us each day, including you and me.
Thank you for keeping it together. At least most of the time. We all struggle in bad weather, we all want the sun to shine. Thank you for not losing hope when it was gone, for hanging in there in the night, waiting for the dawn.
Thank you for choosing yourself. For saying “me first” to save your sanity and health. Sometimes, it’s hard to listen to the voice inside, but when we look back it’s what fills us with pride. You at your best is what best serves us all, so there’s nothing to gain from your playing small.
Thank you for supporting the groups you’re a part of. The groups you’re the heart of. Humanity is one big band but on few shoulders every day we stand. Thank you for gluing together those friends, for tough conversations, inside jokes, and lending a helping hand.
Thank you for shaping the future. For growing into it one day at a time. We need your contribution. We need yours as much as mine. It’s something we build as much as we find, to do either takes a present mind.
Thank you for losing your shit. For flying off the handle when life needed a hit. It might not always spin the right direction, but when it stops spinning we’ll drift into regression. Sometimes, to keep going you have to fall apart. Sometimes, it takes shattered pieces to reassemble a broken heart.
Thank you for feeling with all you’ve got. For living your emotions and trusting your gut. For embracing sadness, happiness, frustration, and joy. For leaning in when you could’ve leaned away.
Thank you for mourning what you’ve lost. Life has different prices, but in the end, we all pay a cost. A sacrifice, a bad encounter, a careless attempt or an honest mistake. Different reasons, different times, but no one gets around being, seeing, learning too late.
Thank you for spreading your light. For celebrating, sending out sparks, and shining very bright. For motivating, for inspiring, for pushing others without tiring. Our energy is plus or minus, thanks for ditching bad and choosing kindness.
Thank you for abandoning good in search of better. For breaking rules instead of following them to the letter. For leaping high outside the bowl, aspiring to some higher goal. You mightn’t score in the first round, but jumping helps catch the rebound.
Thank you for being you. I don’t even know your name. But forever be you regardless. Because without you, the world would never quite be the same.
Thank you for being you.