We live in a culture that is burnt out, rushed, and exhausted. We don't take the time to thank people...but we also don't take time to listen. I feel like I'm constantly hearing Moms talk about feeling judged by others, or hearing someone's cynical words while they are trying to get their crazy kids through a grocery store and stay somewhat sane themselves...but maybe the reason we don't hear a "thanks" is because that's a little harder. Our culture tells us that humility is looking down on yourself, but there was something very humbling in the moment that person told me "thank you." And taking the moment to listen made me vulnerable, more vulnerable than I would have been if I had been criticized. Criticism would have resulted in me feeling annoyed or just brushing it off, I know how to protect myself from that and feel justified complaining about it to others...but appreciation...that's harder. Accepting appreciation means I need to let it in...opening myself up to the other.
It's not the first time some has looked me in the eye and said something along those lines. In fact I feel I've been hearing it more and more. Maybe I look like I need it more these days, or maybe it's just that I am open. As I told you in January, my word for the year is "listen" so maybe I've heard people say "thanks" or "you are doing a good job" my whole life but it wasn't until now that I took the time to actually listen.