Yesterday I got this beautiful sunflower from a customer at work. For those of you who haven’t read my previous posts, I work at the reception desk in a 4* Hotel. The sunflower made me realise how little gratefulness there is in the world today, especially among those who can afford to stay at such hotels.
I was given the flower as a thank-you from a lovely middle-aged German gentleman who didn’t speak much English but really wanted (not demanded like most people do) a room with a nice view of the water as the Hotel is located next to the docks. I managed to find him one to move to and he was so grateful that his whole face was beaming with pure childish joy when he saw the room. Later he came down to reception and brought two beautiful sunflowers, one for me and one for my colleague at the desk. This sunflower made me smile through an otherwise really rough day at work.
Working in an expensive hotel, you are faced with immense ungratefulness everyday. We often go the extra and extra extra mile to ensure the guests get a lovely stay and their special occasions are recognized. However, you rarely get any gratefulness apart from an indifferent “thank you”, without even as much as a smile. The complaints and demands and even abusive behaviour at times are much MUCH more frequent than the acts of gratefulness. People get incredibly upset about the smallest things and they act as if you were the guilty one, ruining their happiness because some of their extra needs couldn’t be accommodated. That’s why I am very fond of the guests who come with this childlike attitude and enjoy everything as if for the first time instead of expecting to be treated like royalty.
Being grateful is something that we seem to have forgotten in the modern times. Most of the people in the Western world grow up with a plenitude of things. I grew up in a relatively poor family so for me getting a mobile phone, a computer or even a tastier snack was something special and to be grateful for. But that wasn’t the case with most families and in a way I am grateful for having had this kind of upbringing because I don’t attach much importance to money. I can do with little, given that I have enough to pay for my rent, to have nice food when I want to and to travel occasionally and go out with my friends to see a movie or a play. I don’t need very expensive clothes or makeup or Apple technology. This mindset that I was brought up with also allows me to pursue my artistic-acting dreams without worrying that I’ll never make much money out of it. When you have relatively simple needs, life is so much freer.
Nevertheless, I still struggle with being grateful myself. I still take a lot of things for granted and sometimes I am anxious because I need more money than I have for things like my studies and I get worried where they will come from. It’s okay though, because up until now I never had more than enough but I also always had enough for my needs. God provided for me even when I had absolutely no idea how I was going to pay for certain necessities. Having this freedom is precious to me, as is being able to appreciate the little that I can afford. Give me a nice cup of coffee every morning and the opportunity to do things that make my heart happy, and I can do away with material things.
After all, experiences are what make us rich.