Thanksgiving is over. Many a turkey has been offered on the altar of gluttony and many a pigskin has been thrown about with careless disregard for its comfort and safety.
I am positive that many people exhibited feelings of thankfulness to those with meaning in their lives. That is except those shoppers who were cursing, slinging fists and kicking shins over toys in department stores on Black Friday. Why are people so irresponsible over toys? Shameful! Police were called to more than one store to regain order.
Why aren't people more respectful and thankful? Why is it so easy to criticize and more difficult to praise? If things are going well most of us, including me, don't say thank you but let something go wrong and our anger blasts off like a Saturn Rocket. Or we allow seething anger and disgust to erupt from within us like lava from Mount Vesuvius. As the lava spews higher and then flows down hill it destroys everything and everyone in its path. Why?
Too many people angrily state, "I grew up in a family where my father or mother never gave me a kind word. (S)he criticized everything I did. Nothing I did was ever right. I don't know why (s)he was so mad all the time? I was so glad to get out of that Hell hole." How sad.
A project manager complained to me one time, "It seems that nothing our team does is ever good enough. Then if we do something good the boss grabs all of the credit and we get nothing. It would feel great to be appreciated once in a while. We would all work even harder to accomplish the company goals." He was angry.
I was discussing supplemental insurance plans with a saleswoman recently. She said, "I seldom receive compliments in my work. People gripe all the time. Very few people thank me. I watch all of the television commercials that show people praising their agents and the company but that is not real life. I receive very little appreciation. People think their policy covers everything and then when they find out it doesn't they are madder than a rained on rooster. They curse me. They remember promises I never made. Most people never read their policies and then blame me when their claim is denied. It is not my fault but I get the blame."
Many ministers feel the brunt of constant criticism. I have first-hand experience in this arena. A minister said to me, "I have been preaching for nearly 25 years and I am nearly worn out. I seldom hear a compliment. At any time at least 25 percent of the members intensely dislike me for various reasons. The two best preachers they ever had was the one they had before me and the one they will have after I am gone. The old, the young demand more attention. I preach too long or not long enough. Never talk about money. I am ready to sell cemetery plots."
Remember Thumper who said, "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all."
Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School. He lives in Plainfield and can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. Write him at Larry Vandeventer 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, Ind., 46168. He has written five books.