Battling insomnia, I have decided to write my first post this semester on a humbling topic around this time of year: gratitude, and why it should be at the core of everything we do.
Interpersonal communication is a means of showing gratitude.
Too many times this semester, my in-person greetings have been disregarded in favor of responding to a text message. When I say “hello so-and-so” and he/she responds “hi Jackie, how are you doing today?” or simply “hey Jackie,” my mood becomes instantly better. Not only is it generally courteous to reciprocate a greeting, but it is also a means of demonstrating acknowledgement of and appreciation for someone being in your life, no matter the role he/she plays. At Rice, I have really good friends whom I text every day, friends with whom I spent trips and summers, classmates with whom I worked on projects, and mutual friends whom I have met after being introduced but would not go out of my way to contact. All of these people deserve my time, especially in the form of a personal greeting. I’m not perfect at keeping all of these connections alive and well, but I certainly will try to be better from now on. If you happen to be reading this post and we haven’t touch-based in a while, please send me a message or say hi when we next cross paths. 🙂
Service to the community should be practiced in good faith.
If we cannot perform a small “task” like consistently responding to a personal greeting, how can we claim to wholly devote ourselves to our communities through much larger acts of volunteerism? Individuals with the more extensive records of community service should be some of the most devoted individuals to the wellbeing of others in every capacity. My business class this semester (BUSI 310, would highly recommend) formally brought to my attention the two varieties of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. While I recognize the utility of noting community service activities on a resume, it would be self-deceiving to describe a life of service to a potential employer without possessing the intrinsic desire to perform the activities in the first place. Live every day in good faith so as to justify your extensive community involvements.
Without further expectations, we should aspire to create opportunities for others to be grateful.
Reflecting on much of this past semester, I am ashamed to have been hung up on so many of my personal stressors that dwindle in comparison to the conflicts around the world and the turmoil of those battling illness, even just across the street from campus.
Medicine provides humbling opportunities to experience the vulnerability of others and gift them with another chance to be grateful for the ultimate blessing that is good health. On a smaller scale, I will attempt to complain less about the amount of work I have to complete, how difficult the work is, and how tired I am all the time. These are all blessings, and I hope as Rice students we can view them more as such.