kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,

Saying ‘Thank You’: Exercise gratitude in the school of life

NO matter how much good is done, saying “Thank you” is not commonly practised in our society.

We fail to appreciate policemen, firemen, soldiers, even doctors or other health workers for their dedication, commitment and risks they have to face daily.

Last month, during a trip with my daughter, a student at Stanford University in the United States, I noticed we were constantly reminded of what gratitude, loyalty, patriotism, professionalism and dedication meant while visiting Ivy League and other institutions.

Both Yale and Brown universities, as well as other schools, had special wings in their main buildings dedicated to the “fallen heroes” of their alumni, who were involved in the Korean War, World Wars 1 and 2, and wars in Vietnam, the Middle East and others.

Public parks also had long templates engraved with the names of fallen heroes.

The writing may be small but was still legible.

Across the hotel I stayed in at Providence was the Hasbro building, a company famous for its toys. The outer facade of the building was adorned with the names of Rhode Island’s heroes.

I suddenly felt ashamed that we only have the Tugu Negara to show our appreciation.

I last saw it more than 40 years ago and doubt my children or grandchildren have to this day.

No wonder we fail to appreciate our fallen heroes and question the existence of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) forces, meant to keep our country safe from intruders.

I bought a 236-page book, A Simple Act of Gratitude, by John Kralik at Brown University’s bookstore. Its message was simple: that learning to say thank you every single day for 365 days had changed his life.

It’s not difficult to relate to the experiences he wrote about.

It is a real life story of a successful lawyer who experienced downturns in his life, losing not only a good income, but having to deal with personal problems and family loss all at once.

What is more important and far more interesting is the fact that this book is required text for undergraduates at Brown University.

I wish our young ones would devote time to insightful reads, such as this, as opposed to mainly googling to cultivate their soft skills and gain wisdom beyond the classroom.

Perhaps we need exactly this kind of book to guide and thrive during school life.

Professor Dr Rahimah Abdul Kadir, Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, Lincoln University College, Petaling Jaya. NST Letters 12 JULY 2014 @ 7:55 AM

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