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Facing a Lack of Acknowledgment
by Dr. Dale V. Atkins, September 2008

Just because you suspend judgment and cease being critical, does not insure you against being judged and criticized by others.

In my newsletters I often comment on the importance of being grateful and appreciative. We are often disturbed when we "show up" or do things for people who are unable or unwilling to show gratitude or appreciation. Why and how do we continue to be helpful or available? What motivates us? Is it because of our feelings toward God or some higher power? Is it because we realize at some point people we need to do what we think is the right thing even if the recipient can't say or show appreciation?

Only you can determine how far you are willing to go and willing to give. Life circumstances consistently change and you may be called upon to help at a time when the people you are helping are just unable to receive your help with grace. Understand that you may not "get anything back" except the satisfaction that you know you are doing the right thing. Do not expect that others will appreciate what you are doing and that it may be difficult for you. Your experience is yours alone. Not everyone has empathy. This is especially true where there are generational differences. Younger people often do not understand that older people have a different reserve of energy and may fatigue more quickly. You are the only one who can put limits on what is reasonable for you at this time.

Do what you think is right in your own heart, and do not expect to have a parade in your honor.

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