In the South, the use of “Yes, Sir,” “Yes, Ma’am,” and “Thank you,” have been drilled into many a little person’s brain. Unfortunately, as time goes by, those social conventions seem to be in danger, even in the very places that have held them sacred for so long. In fact, I have found that I sometimes will even get a strange look when I utter similar words to a stranger or passer-by. It seems manners are being traded for acceptance of ill-conceived tolerance, even tolerance of the ill-mannered.
We know this is nothing new when we look at the story of Jesus’ healing of the ten lepers. After healing ten, only one comes back to show gratitude to the healer. Why did 90% of those healed not offer thanks?
We all find our lives filled with blessings. We may sometimes think we deserve the good things we receive. We may also believe because everyone receives the same gifts — things like life, air, and the planet — that God didn’t single us out, and our obligation to offer thanks is diminished. However, gratitude is never obligated. The other 9 did not get their leprosy back due to ungrateful hearts. Gratitude is simply the gift we give to the one who was generous to us in the first place. A gift for a gift. Generosity gives birth to more generosity. Without as much gratitude in the world, there is less chance for an increase of love and generosity. So, who do you need to thank today?
— Tracy Earl Welliver