Manvotional: The Courage to Face Ingratitude

by Brett & Kate McKay on November 17, 2012 · 72 comments

in Manvotionals

With Thanksgiving this week, many minds will be turning to the things they are grateful for. But here’s a twist on the subject not often explored: what do you do when others do not share your attitude of gratitude and your good turns go unappreciated? Our good friend William George Jordan offers up a veritable cornucopia of powerful thoughts.

“The Courage to Face Ingratitude
From The Power of Truth; Individual Problems and Possibilities, 1902
By William George Jordan

INGRATITUDE, the most popular sin of humanity, is forgetfulness of the heart. It is the revelation of the emptiness of pretended loyalty. The individual who possesses it finds it the shortest cut to all the other vices.

Ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge, which is only returning evil for evil, while ingratitude returns evil for good…

Gratitude is thankfulness expressed in action. It is the instinctive radiation of justice, giving new life and energy to the individual from whom it emanates. It is the heart’s recognition of kindness that the lips cannot repay. Gratitude never counts its payments. It realizes that no debt of kindness can ever be outlawed, ever be cancelled, ever paid in full. Gratitude ever feels the insignificance of its installments; ingratitude the nothingness of the debt. Gratitude is the flowering of a seed of kindness; ingratitude is the dead inactivity of a seed dropped on a stone.

The expectation of gratitude is human; the rising superior to ingratitude is almost divine. To desire recognition of our acts of kindness and to hunger for appreciation and the simple justice of a return of good for good, is natural. But man never rises to the dignity of true living until he has the courage that dares to face ingratitude calmly, and to pursue his course unchanged when his good works meet with thanklessness or disdain. Man should have only one court of appeals as to his actions, not “what will be the result?” “how will it be received?” but “is it right?” Then he should live his life in harmony with this standard alone, serenely, bravely, loyally and unfalteringly, making “right for right’s sake” both his ideal and his inspiration. Man should not be an automatic gas-machine, cleverly contrived to release a given quantity of illumination under the stimulus of a nickel. He should be like the great sun itself which ever radiates light, warmth, life and power, because it cannot help doing so, because these qualities fill the heart of the sun, and for it to have them means that it must give them constantly. Let the sunlight of our sympathy, tenderness, love, appreciation, influence and kindness ever go out from us as a glow to brighten and hearten others. But do not let us ever spoil it all by going through life constantly collecting receipts, as vouchers, to stick on the file of our self-approval.

It is hard to see those who have sat at our board in the days of our prosperity, flee as from a pestilence when misfortune darkens our doorway; to see the loyalty upon which we would have staked our life, that seemed firm as a rock, crack and splinter like thin glass at the first real test; to know that the fire of friendship at which we could ever warm our hands in our hour of need, has turned to cold, dead, gray ashes, where warmth is but a haunting memory.

To realize that he who once lived in the sanctuary of our affection, in the frank confidence where conversation seemed but our soliloquy, and to whom our aims and aspirations have been thrown open with no Bluebeard chamber of reserve, has been secretly poisoning the waters of our reputation and undermining us by his lies and treachery, is hard indeed. But no matter how the ingratitude stings us, we should just swallow the sob, stifle the tear, smile serenely and bravely, and— seek to forget.

In justice to ourselves we should not permit the ingratitude of a few to make us condemn the whole world. We pay too much tribute to a few human insects when we let their wrong-doing paralyze our faith in humanity. It is a lie of the cynics that says “all men are ungrateful,” a companion lie to “all men have their price.” We must trust humanity if we would get good from humanity. He who thinks all mankind is vile is a pessimist who mistakes his introspection for observation; he looks into his own heart and thinks he sees the world. He is like a cross-eyed man, who never sees what he seems to be looking at. Confidence and credit are the cornerstones of business, as they are of society. Withdraw them from business and the activities and enterprises of the world would stop in an instant, topple and fall into chaos. Withdraw confidence in humanity from the individual, and he becomes but a breathing, selfish egotist, the one good man left, working overtime in nursing his petty grudge against the world because a few whom he has favored have been ungrateful.

If a man receives a counterfeit dollar he does not straightway lose his faith in all money—at least there are no such instances on record in this country. If he has a run of three or four days of dull weather he does not say “the sun ceases to exist, there are surely no bright days to come in the whole calendar of time.” If a man’s breakfast is rendered an unpleasant memory by some item of food that has outlived its usefulness, he does not forswear eating. If a man finds under a tree an apple with a suspicious looking hole on one side, he does not condemn the whole orchard; he simply confines his criticism to that apple. But he who has helped someone who, later, did not pass a good examination on gratitude, says in a voice plaintive with the consciousness of injury, and with a nod of his head that implies the wisdom of Solomon: “I have had my experience, I have learned my lesson. This is the last time I will have faith in any man. I did this for him, and that for him, and now, look at the result!”

Then he unrolls a long schedule of favors, carefully itemized and added up, till it seems the payroll of a great city. He complains of the injustice of one man, yet he is willing to be unjust to the whole world, making it bear the punishment of the wrong of an individual. There is too much vicarious suffering already in this earth of ours without this lilliputian attempt to extend it by syndicating one man’s ingratitude. If one man drinks to excess, it is not absolute justice to send the whole world to jail. The farmer does not expect every seed that he sows in hope and faith to fall on good ground and bring forth its harvest; he is perfectly certain that this will not be so, cannot be. He is counting on the final outcome of many seeds, on the harvest of all, rather than on the harvest of one…The more unselfish, charitable and exalted the life and mission of the individual, the larger will be the number of instances of ingratitude that must be met and vanquished…

We must ever tower high above dependence on human gratitude or we can do nothing really great, nothing truly noble. The expectation of gratitude is the alloy of an otherwise virtuous act. It ever dulls the edge of even our best actions. Most persons look at gratitude as a protective tariff on virtues. The man who is weakened in well-doing by the ingratitude of others, is serving God on a salary basis. He is a hired soldier, not a volunteer. He should be honest enough to see that he is working for a reward; like a child, he is being good for a bonus. He is really regarding his kindness and his other expressions of goodness as moral stock he is willing to hold only so long as they pay dividends. There is in such living always a touch of the pose; it is waiting for the applause of the gallery. We must let the consciousness of doing right, of living up to our ideals, be our reward and stimulus, or life will become to us but a series of failures, sorrows and disappointments…

Let us forget the good deeds we have done by making them seem small in comparison with the greater things we are doing, and the still greater acts we hope to do. This is true generosity, and will develop gratitude in the soul of him who has been helped, unless he is so petrified in selfishness as to make it impossible. But constantly reminding a man of the favors he has received from you almost cancels the debt. The care of the statistics should be his privilege; you are usurping his prerogative when you recall them. Merely because it has been our good fortune to be able to serve someone, we should not act as if we held a mortgage on his immortality, and expect him to swing the censer of adulation forever in our presence…

No good act performed in the world ever dies. Science tells us that no atom of matter can ever be destroyed, that no force once started ever ends; it merely passes through a multiplicity of ever-changing phases. Every good deed done to others is a great force that starts an unending pulsation through time and eternity. We may not know it, we may never hear a word of gratitude or of recognition, but it will all come back to us in some form as naturally, as perfectly, as inevitably, as echo answers to sound. Perhaps not as we expect it, how we expect it, nor where, but sometime, somehow, somewhere, it comes back, as the dove that Noah sent from the Ark returned with its green leaf of revelation. Let us conceive of gratitude in its largest, most beautiful sense, that if we receive any kindness we are debtor, not merely to one man, but to the whole world. As we are each day indebted to thousands for the comforts, joys, consolations, and blessings of life, let us realize that it is only by kindness to all that we can begin to repay the debt to one, begin to make gratitude the atmosphere of all our living and a constant expression in outward acts, rather than in mere thoughts. Let us see the awful cowardice and the injustice of ingratitude, not to take it too seriously in others, not to condemn it too severely, but merely to banish it forever from our own lives, and to make every hour of our living the radiation of the sweetness of gratitude.

{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

1 gerald November 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Whoah, awesomeness.

2 Chris W. November 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm

You have no idea how much I needed this exact message tonight. Thanks for showing me the answer to “why do I even bother anymore?”

3 justin November 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Just read self control its kingship and majesty. This was due to reading the majesty of calmness here. WGJ seems so straightforward and full of common sense. Between the Bible and the excellent reflections on life by men who have truly lived it, found on your site, I’ve been getting through a tough time in my life with greater hope for the future and better todays.

4 nick November 17, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Just what I needed….

5 Nate November 18, 2012 at 12:00 am

This touches on one of the greatest strongholds in the nation, which is having offendable hearts; and the first step to breaking free from this is to learn how not to be addicted to the approval of man. Powerful manvotional for the holiday!

6 stevecanyon November 18, 2012 at 12:56 am

“like a child, he is being good for a bonus.”

“waiting for the applause of the gallery.”

True, and hard to admit. One must be good for goodness’ sake, because you wont always get a pat on the head.

7 kris November 18, 2012 at 1:16 am

This could not have been read at a better time. It is quite brilliant.

8 Chadwick J. Painter November 18, 2012 at 3:08 am

Thank you for this. It really has driven the past year’s lessons home to me. Knuckle down, grin, and bear it. A lot of people ask me why I give to people/organizations who really undermine, hate, despise, and/or disregard me. I just remember my mom telling me “go the extra mile.” and we did it even for those who hated us. This reminds me that I’m not crazy. God bless!

9 ook November 18, 2012 at 5:00 am

I lost count of the number of times I audibly said “oooooh” or “wow” while I was reading this manvotional. That is some powerful stuff. And I can say one thing, I am ETERNALLY grateful for The Art of Manliness! Thank you Brett & Kate; putting these articles up for people to read is just the type of kindness WGJ is talking about.

10 Wolf November 18, 2012 at 5:57 am

This is great, I was actually just touching upon such subjects and I think this is a topic not only relevant in the U.S. but all over the Western World, maybe even the whole word. It’s such an easy slippery slope to mistake pessimism for ‘realism’ and always assume the negative extreme. (conspiracy theories, dystopian ideas of mankinds future, thinking all politicians are incompetent idiots ect.)

11 D S November 18, 2012 at 6:59 am

“mistakes his own introspection for observation” Powerfully written. How often have my own inbred thoughts been mistaken for reality. You just don’t find writing like this anymore, both in manner and substance.

12 Dave November 18, 2012 at 7:19 am

Brett and Kate,

I for one am grateful that you put such selfless work into gathering these nuggets of inspired wisdom and make them accessible to the masses; who so desparately need this cool drink in a desert of the base noise in today’s world. We can live deliberately, choosing gratitude over ingratitude. Choosing to be kind in the face of indifference.

Thank you. This piece adds to the tapestry of goodness woven in your work, AoM is becoming a masterpiece of ancient wisdom in modern form. Do continue!

13 Patrick November 18, 2012 at 7:23 am

I work in healthcare, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched my own hard work and good deeds, as well as those of others, go completely unnoticed. It’s one of the most difficult things to deal with in a setting where the absolute best is expected of you from the moment you step foot in the building. I’ve caught patients who were falling, gone out of my way to make sure someone got the right drink they needed, finagled staffing to make sure that a nursing unit could cover a group of very sick patients, and very rarely is thanks ever given in return. There’s a lot of days it makes me want to quit on the spot. What good is doing the right thing all the time and not hearing a word of thanks from those you do it for?

This article reminded me why we do the right thing. Thanks, Brett.

14 Walter November 18, 2012 at 7:59 am

Great! Thank you for posting this.

15 Chief Cockeye November 18, 2012 at 8:08 am

John Galt would be proud of this. So am I.

16 Jeremy Van Wert November 18, 2012 at 9:05 am

Well done. Way to break it down. Existentialism at its finest.

17 Mike November 18, 2012 at 10:46 am

It’s so easy for me to get going a thousand miles an hour focused on some big goals or plans and start to forget how important being truly grateful is. If I can start my day and just stop for 2-3 minutes and think of all that I am grateful for I tend to go about my day being more appreciative and grateful for others.
Whats crazy is it really only takes 2-3 minutes and the affect on myself and those around me is so positive…but guess what…I almost never do it, I really need to work on that.
Great post!

18 Scott W. November 18, 2012 at 10:47 am

What a great piece. Thank you for posting it. For a scientific explanation on why this works or how to better understand why you should live life this way, read The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt. Understanding leads to inner strength which delivers us from many of life’s more common sorrows.

19 Miguel November 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

Thank you for this read. Lately I’ve been feeling very faithless in the world, and this article has started an analysis of my morals and actions.

I’m very passionate to help patients without needing any reward, but I no longer trust people in my personal life due to multiple consecutive failures. In a way I guess I’m expressing the hope that a stranger might be a moral person, whereas I’m unwilling to allow myself to be hurt by anyone close enough to be capable of it.

I have no current resolution to offer, just gratitude for bringing this to my attention.

20 Robert Dean November 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

I believe ingratitude is a man’s opportunity to reinforce what Marcus Aurelius calls his “guardian-spirit.”

21 David November 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I am 57 and new to Art of Manliness. So glad I signed up as I have learned so many important life lessons in a short time. This is a wonderful site. Gives you something good to ponder every day. Every man should have this available.

22 Matt November 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm

This was a great read. It brings so many things to light. Thanks.

23 Harry November 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

All people are fundamentally selfish animals. If you claim your motivation is unselfish, you aren’t being completely honest.

“Because it’s the right thing to do,” really means that you can get off on the feeling of moral superiority over the plebeians who are not as “morally enlightened” as you like to think you are. Or, you expect that being seen to do “the right thing” now to be a down payment, that it raises yourself in the esteem of others for later personal gain. Or in the Christian ethic

24 Jman November 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Great post and site. Not only do I learn from the posts, but from the comments by people on this site. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

25 Ryan November 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Amazingly well written and insightful. Good piece.

26 Hunter November 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I took away for myself: let go. Gratitude comes from the same root as gracious. Graciousness exists outside of gratitude, and to be gracious when faced with ingratitude is a pretty grace-ful thing.

27 Anku November 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Wow. Just wow. One of the most poetic passages I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Brilliantly written, and an amazing message. Thank you for this.

28 Owen November 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm

No one writes like this anymore! It is amazing how the article is so beautifully written, and yet brings out the profound truth that is so easy to understand. Thank you!

29 Glenn November 18, 2012 at 8:16 pm

“He should be like the great sun itself which ever radiates light, warmth, life and power, because it cannot help doing so…”

Had to share that on facebook.

As others have already said, this is just what I needed to read. Thank you!

30 chad November 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Over a century ago and it rings true still!

31 Jason November 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Very poignant and spot on for me today. You never cease to impress me with the depth and breadth of information that you find to share on this site. Thank you

32 Tizlor November 18, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I… hm.. this helped put the last few months for me in perspective. Fiancé left me, lost my job, back at square one… thanks for the boost.

33 Mark November 19, 2012 at 12:15 am

Thanks for this. Very relevant for the upcoming American Thanksgiving holiday. I appreciate all of the work that you do in putting this site together.

34 RRyan November 19, 2012 at 6:12 am

Beautifully written piece! Definitely made me think about all the hate I had because of ungrateful people. (And my writing skills! I want to write like this too)

35 Aaron Williamson November 19, 2012 at 9:29 am

I really appreciate this post. No boring details, but life seem to wear us down consistently, and this helped lift me up.

36 Ryan November 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

@Tizlor
I am in a very similar boat as you, my friend. What helped me is refocusing on the big questions: Why are we here? Who will I be? How is the right way to act? It also helps to know that all things work together for good. We will be praying for you, bro!

@Brett and Kay
Thanks for always posting material that is dense with wisdom. God bless!

37 Dave November 19, 2012 at 11:20 am

I’ve been going through a rough patch lately, and frankly, this hit the nail on the head. I feel that many people in the world offer up ingratitude for the efforts of others. I feel I have, especially lately, been on the receiving end of this.
I did not, however, stop to think, whether or not *I* was being gracious in handling this situation. I was looking for me reward, and I through a tantrum when I did not receive it.

This will definitely help me reflect on the past few weeks. I really needed this.
Thank you.

38 HarryJ November 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

If husbands and wives could learn this (I’m looking at me), this would cut down on a lot of the heartaches at home. Sometimes, the ones you love the most, hurt you the worst

39 brent November 19, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I’ve been one to give kindness as long as the recipient appreciates it. This article stirred up my simplistic approach. The reward really ought to be from the peace of living up to ideals, not in the bonus or praise.

We have all been guilty of not being grateful when kindness and fortune has been given to us. Let’s try to recognize what good has been given to us and express it in gratitude.

Karma seems to have a “give to get”, childish approach to well-doing. This is why I’ve rejected it. It fails to recognize the intrinsic value of goodness and truth. Goodness may very well be returned but ought not to be the reason for the goodness done.

40 Zeppelinite November 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm

This comes at a great time for me because I work in the display department of a major department store.
Customers do not hesitate to literally “destroy” the entire store. Breaking mannequins, stealing, throwing merchandise on the floor, leaving dirty diapers inside rounders, “spraying” ( with feces or urine ) bathroom stalls, eating food and leaving wrappers on merchandise, screaming at and spitting on sales associates when they can’t have their way, most of all, letting their children run amok, etc. etc.
I can go on and on but I won’t.
I will definitely post this on every stock room wall to show all my co- workers that they are still very much appreciated.

41 Bruce Lancaster November 19, 2012 at 6:49 pm

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

I ran into that John Wesley quote in connection with a grad student working on his medical ministry and was very much impressed by it. I had not really known before I got involved in this research that Wesley made no separation between his well known religious ministry and his ministries in medicine and in poverty relief. And he did not conclude the statement with “await thanks and adulation.”

42 Garrett Koepke November 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm

A lot of truth in this post. Thanks for sharing! Being good for goodness’ sake isn’t enough though I think. You need a solid belief in something higher than you to guide why you do “good.” In my case, it’s belief in God and His son, Jesus Christ. It’s different for other people, and although I may not agree with it, I respect it.

43 MariJean November 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm

As a woman, after reading this (and the comments) I have re-enforced my desire to say “thank you” to you more often.

44 Christopher Provost November 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I echo Chris W’s sentiments. I needed to read this tonight because I was throwing myself a pity party over the ingratitude I have received, and continue to receive, from my step-daughter. I need to rise above it and move on. Thanks for the reminder.

45 Isaac November 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm

I loved the part about not condemning all for the sins of one.

46 Will November 20, 2012 at 6:02 am

Like Chris W, this is exactly what i needed to read. Thank you.

47 doc November 20, 2012 at 8:32 am

Do what thy manhood bids thee do.
From none but self expect applause
He noblest lives and noblest dies
Who make and keep his self made laws

Sir Richard Burton

48 Christopher November 20, 2012 at 9:51 am

Wow! Thanks.

49 Christopher J. Maurer November 20, 2012 at 10:22 am

I loved this. What a healthy and joyful way to proceed. Do it because it’s right, not because you expect praise like a dog wagging it’s tail.

50 Matthew Palmer November 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

Like a lot of people commenting, I needed this. Sometimes I wonder why I work at improving my actions if few people ever pick them up, and don’t understand my effort when they do. This article features some of the best wisdom I’ve read in some months.
Thanks for staving off the seasonal blues!

51 Ryan C. November 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Fantastic! Love this one. I could not help when Reading it though, this is simply not just “good practice” but a commandment from the word of God. And, it’s not just a commandment for commandments sake but a call to live the way we were designed, as a community that enriches each other. When you live the way you were designed, yeah, works better…:)

52 Bob Pearce November 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Another outstanding post! Thank you for the wonderful job you do!

53 Akshay November 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Love this. As a philosopher and explorer, this was a great insight into humanity. I always wonder what drives ingratitude? What has people choose that? Maybe if we can change that in everyone, we could the world

54 justAguy November 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Just chanced upon this article, very timely…

55 Tom November 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I’m pretty sure that the third to last paragraph of this was written directly to me. It has sparked a revelation in my life.

56 Hutan November 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

Needed to read this. This was a great article at the right time. Those words can stay with you forever as long as you revisit them from time to time.

57 Christian November 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Fantastic piece; easily my favourite manvotional so far. That last paragraph sent chills down my spine. Thanks!

58 Oddball November 23, 2012 at 9:33 am

Family gatherings are a great way to reset the order of things, and a flying headbutt to the face of the ungrateful, with a follow up kick to the crotch helps everyone to gain some perspective.

People will be a helluva lot less arrogant after that.

59 Arlen November 23, 2012 at 11:14 am

Harry
Your point is a vital counterbalance to what often becomes mass hysteria around what it means to live from charity and goodness. Too often no one speaks out about the dark side of selflessness.
I have found that the drive of self interest is not only unavoidable, it is vital to human well-being. Only love born of self interest is truly authentic Love.
The challenge is in the integration of the interests of self and other.
Thank you for your comment.
Have a fun and rewarding day, Arlen.

60 Tim Murphy November 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm

“In justice to ourselves we should not permit the ingratitude of a few to make us condemn the whole world.”

Perhaps the most important point made. Sometimes the treachery and ingratitude of those you have struggled and sacrificed to help makes you want to give up on helping anyone. This post put me in the proper frame of mind to rise above that very human first response. Thank you.

61 CBJ November 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

A phenomenal essay. Very relevant in a word where ingratitude is the norm.
Keep fighting the good fight Ladies and Gentleman.

Thank-you for this!

62 Jonas Ogrefoln November 25, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I truly appreciate the older, wiser writing styles of men who came to understand the world through their own actions, and direct observations. Direct, to the point, and undeniably accurate to anyone else who is learning as they go; by “doing”. Wonderful passage, goes down like medicine oil, but once it goes through ya, everything starts gettin’ better.

63 David November 26, 2012 at 10:41 pm

I needed that. Thank you. Sometimes you question why you try and sometimes you just need a reminder.

64 Thorsten November 27, 2012 at 2:47 am

I too am having a rough time right now. A few years ago I married my wife with two now nearly grown up daughters. We have a son who died a few days after birth and a little girl.

Life is mostly hard at the moment for me. I try to do my best and don’t receive any gratitude by anyone (neither at work nor from anyone of my family) I think no matter what I do or how hard I fight. On the contrary I only seem to get critisized.
I too make mistakes during the journey and I don’t know if I can win this fight called life in the end or stay on the winning road. However I keep on fighting like a man and stay on the road that I think is right.

I’m often sad how people, animals and the earth are being treated.

Most people this time sadly don’t have any honor or gratitude anymore.

I often visit this site and have bought both of your books for kindle.

One of my favorite quotes is from the newest Rocky Balboa movie. It seems to describe life very exactly:
“No one hits as hard as life. Life is not about how hard you can hit but about how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done”

Thank you very much, Brett & Kay, for the articles that show me how to be a real and most of all an honorable and good man.

65 Sean November 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

Fine article and all, but the author contradicts himself at the end. He insists on doing good for the sake of good, right for the sake of right, but then he explains “every good deed will echo back in some form at an unpredictable time,” which is the same as “don’t wait for a reward, you childish waif! (but you WILL get a reward!)”

66 James November 29, 2012 at 7:29 am

@Sean
The author does not contradict himself. The message is simple: Don’t expect an immediate reward; have faith that there will be a reward (even one you may never see – at least in this world).

67 Spence November 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm

And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
2 Thessalonians 3:12-14
May the fruit you bear always be nourishing and edifying to all people.

68 Rob December 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Coming across this was one of those profound events. I haven’t stopped thinking about this since I read it a few days ago. A sincere thank you for providing this. I hope to find more nuggets like this on this site.

69 Vishvnand May 5, 2013 at 9:45 am

A very thought provoking, enthusiastically explaining & meaningfully consoling write on the subject which most have to confront & deal with in Life.
Here is what got written by me after reading this article as one of a solution to deal with such predicament …..

I N G R A T I T U D E

Initially facing it hurts us greatly & makes us feel sad & unhappy

Not unknown but from whom we face it most are often our known buddies

Given help, support & assistance by us in times of their need only too voluntarily

Resorting to doing our duty as good human beings, not expecting in return anything

And feel upset why they should now be so acting in ways that to us are unduly hurting

The actions seem unexplainable indeed whether it is their unintentional or intentional doing

Irritating greatly but very essential & prudent we must know how to deal with these hurts wisely

That we don’t feel disheartened or nurture any resentment on this score for our own wellbeing

Understand we must that it is the helpless trait of some individuals embedded in their very personality

Deleting & dropping off such personalities from our life’s canvas becomes now essential to our progress & harmony

Ensuring thus that we lead our lives gracefully gratefully of purpose without harboring thoughts of hurt or negativity ….!

“ Vishvnand ”

70 Chris L August 5, 2013 at 6:11 am

Although I am not of the “male” persuasion, I stumbled upon this web site, “The Art of Manliness” by accident. I discovered this exquisitely written piece while searching for insightful thoughts on the subject of “ingratitude”. Once I read this article, I realized that this was not at all what I expected when I initially read the title!

I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised…it made me pause, sit back, and seriously reflect upon these eloquently written words.
This is a timeless piece of wisdom; exceptional in the calibre of the writing, but more importantly, it is a truth that I needed desperately to be reminded of. We must do and act according to what is “right”.
Spike Lee’s, “Do The Right Thing” came to mind immediately as well as the precepts in Buddhism. Morals and “right living” are universal; if we are to embrace and walk the path of love and compassion, we must adopt and practice the philosophy contained within this message.

All of the greatest, wisest spiritual leaders throughout history have advocated and exemplified this way of living. Is it easy for humankind to put this philosophy into action? No, it is probably one of the most difficult tasks for humanity. Theoretically, we may agree that we must live according to “right action” but the reality is that it is easier said than done. This wisely written piece explains the “WHY”…it is necessary to practice love and compassion especially when we face those who are not loving and compassionate to us. It is only through living according to these principles that we shall ever hope to live in harmony with one another. Our history demonstrates that there has never been a universal state of peace on this earth. If each of us tried to live according to this precept, our world would be a much more loving and peaceful place to live.

71 Dane November 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm

This was so good I had to pull out the old typewriter and copy down a couple paragraphs for later reflection. Thanks

72 Jo January 12, 2014 at 5:25 am

Thank you. I came across this by chance – so desperately needed to be reminded of the privilege to be serving others regardless of how they respond. (From a mum of 3 grown up children, a five year old, 4 grown up step children and 3 grandchildren). Many blessings to you.

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