“Do you want me to clear your drive?” He motioned and yelled over the sound of his snow-blower.
He was pointing across the road to my driveway, where I just had a shovel and a bit of a hill up to the house. Well, it is polite to accept an offer, isn’t it? I couldn’t ask or expect him to do the entire thing, so I accepted, just the bit at the bottom that the driveway connects to the road. I accepted with thanks and he cleared that amount as well as my neighbours which are pretty well connected at the bottom and appear as if it’s one wide driveway. I thanked him and kept shovelling the 12 inches of snow that had accumulated overnight. When my husband took over and got my car to the bottom and had it warmed up for me, he also called out his thanks to the neighbour across the street.
There are always people willing to help in the snow. Make it a bit easier for those around them. When my dad heard the story, he asked if this neighbour had been properly thanked. He went on to explain that friends of his, who live farther North in BC, had a grader for 30 years, he helped clear the road and also made sure the entrance of every drive on their street was clear from the plow build up. He was not thanked even one time. And when the time came and he passed on the grader to his friend, then the neighbourhood started to wonder why their driveways weren’t done.
I will always remember, one snowfall that we had the most snow we have seen in our area. My dad’s friend who lived just down the road appeared in my parent’s very long driveway in his tractor. No one was out on the roads, so he drove his tractor over and dug us out. My dad exclaimed and happily ran out to give thanks to Jube from the Christmas tree farm. It was such a gift that he thought of us.
After this conversation and memories of appreciation, I saw an Instagram post that Robin Sharma had just posted of a paragraph from his new book, Everday Hero Manifesto (which I did receive as a Christmas gift!). This paragraph, from Chapter 30, he talks about this exact topic. It couldn’t have appeared at a better time. ‘Expect Ungrateful’ is the title of the chapter. He explains that “most people will never truly appreciate your goodness.” That in this stage of our species’ evolution, it’s not generally in human nature. He advises to make sure you don’t turn into an ‘injustice collector.’ ‘Most’ people focus on what they didn’t get or what you didn’t give them. The rest is forgotten. “Remember that someone else’s lack of appreciation or good manners or grace or compassion or sense of fairness really has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them,” Robin Sharma says in the book.
It’s a good reminder that it isn’t to do with the giver, the person, as my friend Nancy will describe someone, ‘dipped in gold.’
My parents have taught me long ago, to always thank people, and repay kindnesses when you can. Appreciate the gold in your life. Which, actually, comes back to the golden rule, treat others as you would like to be treated.