Gratitude and Thankfulness
November is always the time in the United States when we begin thinking about the Thanksgiving Holiday and what we are thankful for. With deference to our members in Europe and Asia Pacific, I would like to consider what it means to be grateful; a semantical difference but an important one. Being thankful is a feeling generated within the person, that is, being pleased or relieved. Being grateful is the expression of appreciation for another person, event, or phenomena.
According to research by Fragale, Overbeck, and Neale (2011), people who demonstrate gratitude can bring out the best in others. That’s an important lesson for our students to remember as a means to defuse the difficult situations; saying Thank you can reduce the amount of bad behavior from an angry guest. Emmons and McCullough (2003) in a widely cited study suggest that demonstrating gratitude may have emotional and interpersonal benefits. Those of us who are volunteer in roles within ICHRIE at the federation and board level are grateful for the effort and support our colleagues and ICHRIE staff contribute as we work to move the Association forward. The annual ICHRIE election will become live soon; please be sure to vote!
We have a lot to be thankful for as educators of the future leaders in the hospitality industry. We have the opportunity to guide students toward successful careers; we have impact. I am grateful for the many resources available to me at my university and with our industry partners in ICHRIE, which allow me to develop students and present them with opportunities that extend their personal development.
Lifehack.com presents a list of 60 things to be thankful for; I am including a few that I think would resonate with all of us (https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/60-things-thankful-for-life.html):
Good Friends (and Colleagues my addition)
Having a Partner
Opportunity to get an Education
Breathing fresh air
The Kindness of Strangers
Being able to think
People willing to teach
An internet connection
This article started with the premise that there is a holiday in the U.S. that compels us to be thankful at a distinct time. Arthur C. Brooks from the New York Time admonishes us to not only express gratitude on a holiday, but also give thanks when we don’t feel it. Clearly, we all have many things to be grateful and thankful for throughout the year. I am grateful for the many friends and colleagues I have met and worked with during my career in hospitality education. I am thankful that those reading this article are members of ICHRIE.