Main navigation

The greatest gift we give is the gift of time… and over and over again I hear from many volunteers about the privilege it is to serve. But does that mean that a ‘thanks’ is still important.

A colleague recently shared a pamphlet with me regarding carers working with people with disabilities. For many years she’s been witness to a disabled relative who rarely expresses a thank-you for the support and help provided by both paid and family carers.

“It’s not that you offer care and support for a thank-you,” she explained. “But I am often baffled why the recipient of that care never acknowledges it.”

What she learned was that her relative probably never expresses thanks because doing so would be a daily reminder of the reliance on others. Or simply culturally was not in the habit of saying thank you. I remember a leader I knew saying “If I say thank you every day to my ‘staff’ then it will mean nothing.” (I don’t of course agree that scarcity makes a ‘thank-you’ more precious.)

Which completely reframes the picture. That gratitude in this instance is not about the recipient. That thankfulness comes from the opportunity to offer care and support. To give rather than receive. Often referred to as ‘the helper’s high’, it is the sense of satisfaction and comfort that is created from knowing you have done something to assist another human being. No one wants to be taken for granted – but volunteering is about what you give – NOT the thanks you may or may not receive.

  • In 2006, 5.2 million people (34%) of the Australian population aged 18 years and over, participated in voluntary work.
  • They contributed 713 million hours to the community, an average of 136 hours each per year or 2.6 hours per week.
  • The comparison of 1995, 2000 and 2006 data reveal that volunteer rates increased from 24% to 32% and to 35% between these three time points.

That’s not to say we should neglect being thankful to others, but it does offer an insight into the challenges of thankfulness. Sometimes you have to make a choice – in the instance of my colleague, gratitude is in the eye of the beholder.

What challenges have you faced with your gratitude practices? Remembering to be thankful in the tough times is one challenge that springs to mind.  Can you share any others?


This article originally appeared on LinkedIn as part of my Influencer collection

Reader Interactions

Leave a comment
*All fields are required

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

join the conversation
@ the huddle
Click to discover how I can help you progress to the next level through my Facebook Community The Huddle.


  • This is really living in the work of your customer #virtualexperience #granddesign #vr
  • Great time for gardening! 😄
  • Being in retail for close to two decades has it's highs and lows. 
There is always the threat of competition (Is Amazon going to impact our business when it opens in Australia? Who knows...). The only constant in any retail business is change. 
I find this particularly scary — and nerve wracking. 
I wish I had a crystal ball. 
Trying to pick customer trends continues to be challenging. 
We have engaged the best of the best AI tool to assist in finding customers and helping them. 
But fear is a real emotion felt by many business owners at this time of year. 
Can I trust? I ask myself relentlessly... With 10 weeks to Christmas I feel I must do more to help predict... If I hear ‘consumer confidence is low’ one more time I will want to scream.

Today I must test it. 
I think if I give potential customers a rich offer — with no hidden strings (link in bio), I will see if we can pull some demand forward to let us predict the Christmas capacity we may need. 🎈🎈
  • Meet #jackford who has just joined the Simkingson clan... little buddy for Dexter #cavoodle meets #spoodle 🐶
  • I’ve got my active wear on today🤓


download the book

To learn more, enter your email for a FREE copy of Ready To Soar, Chapter One.

close x
  • enter your first name
  • enter your email
  • join the community

    To Learn more, enter
    email for a Free
    copy of Ready to Soar,
    Chapter One

    plus an invitation to join
    The Huddle Facebook community.

  • enter your name
  • enter your email