I just learned a whole new level of gratefulness, and I’d like to share it with you. The dawning of this revelation came in a rather unusual place too … at a Leslie Odom, Jr. concert.
Leslie Odom, Jr. is a jazz/R&B singer. To be honest, I don’t even think I would know who he was if it were not for my daughter. She, along with thousands of other teens/tweens sing the songs he sang as Aaron Burr in the Broadway hit, Hamilton. And the music of Hamilton, at least for the moment, is seemingly more popular than the music of Taylor Swift.
During his show – which I was attending with my daughter – he paused to recognize his band. This is nothing out of the ordinary at a concert, especially for a solo act. But what was different was how Leslie thanked his fellow band members.
“These guys have been on the road with me, for months, leaving behind their families and their lives so I can live my dream. And I really appreciate that.”
That statement really struck me. Maybe it was because I have a family, and they were sitting at that show with me. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been on the “solo-prenuer” journey for a couple of years. But it made me wonder if I was truly was grateful for those that have helped me along the way? Moreso, have I been deeply below the surface grateful?
It’s Time for Even Deeper Gratitude
It’s natural to thank and be grateful to someone for doing something for us. But why do we often stop there?
For instance, as kids, our parents would drive us to school, dance lessons, and football practice. And we would – hopefully – thank them. But what about the sacrifices they made for us? They may have had to leave work early or go in late; pass on plans to get together with a friend, or simply adjusted their schedule to accommodate ours.
We were thankful just for the task they did, or the sacrifices they made to complete that task?
Even as adults we are faced with similar situations. Whether it’s a friend driving us to the airport or a colleague taking time to explain a systems process at work, there’s usually something being given up by someone to make something easier or better for us. Perhaps that friend had to wake up earlier than normal to get your to your flight on time, or that work colleague had to set aside their own project to help with yours.
The Benefit of Considering What Others Give Up to Serve
I think about this a lot as a special events DJ. My work days are usually work nights, and in reality, they are usually work weekends. I work when others are playing. I’m at my most stressful times at work, when others are in full relax and release mode. And it’s not just me. It’s the event planners, the catering managers, florists, photographers, bartenders and the list goes on. Even my dog trainer mentioned he has not gotten around to training his new puppy because he has been so busy servicing his other clients.
As vendors that serve the special events industry, we do the work because we enjoy it (at least I do). But it also means missing out on family gatherings, camping trip with friends and maybe the occasional proposed double date night. While some may think of these as sacrifices, they are just the norm for me and my colleagues and something we are willing to do because we genuinely want to do good work for others.
I have had some of the best clients over the years. Most always thanking me for doing a great job. And I see that gratitude extends from them to other vendors. But the ones that have thanked me for “taking time away from your family,” “working on your birthday,” or “opening up your home to meet with us,” have expressed a deep gratitude that I have never realized until hearing Leslie thank his band members.
This is something to think about the next time you are on the receiving end of someone else’s gratitude. Will you be thankful for not only their assistance but their sacrifices they have made to help you?
Think about this too the next time you reach out to help someone. Will you be happy and willing to provide wholehearted assistance? Or will you be filled with dismay and regret because you are missing out on something?