I recently read the book THANKS by Robert A. Emmns in which he presented carefully researched studies about gratitude and ingratitude. In this excellently written book, the author outlined some pitfalls to gratitiude. One such pitfall was expecting gratitude from others.
"Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude." Confucious
I am guilty of this pitfall. So, I supsect, are others. It is natural, indeed, human to want to receive gratitude for a kindness extended, a gift presented. The trouble is, when that gratitude fails to materialize, as is frequently the case, we are left feeling cheated. At least I am. After all, did I not go out of my way for another, did I not share of my means?
Does this mean we should not help someone else? Absolutely not. To do so would be to deny that part of us which is divine, that part which strives to emulate the Father. What it does suggest is that we re-examine our motives for offering help. Do we do it out of a desire to serve or do we do it out of a need for gratitude?
This I know for sure: the desire to help another, to lift another, is worthy and noble and should not be tied with strings.