Are Trinis a grateful people? Terms like “you should be grateful” or “you’re too ungrateful” has been banged about for years by people.
Before you rush off to conclusions or assume something it is very important that you watch the WHOLE of this video to understand what I am about to share with you.
By the way, you should know I am grateful that you are here, please do not forget to Subscribe to my Channel for more.
I will also like to mention I am not of any political persuasion nor have any desire for such as a few wrongfully believe.
I just like to deal with a little logic here and there according to my unique missionary experiences from the school of hard knocks.
First, let’s define what it means to be “grateful”. According to Oxford the word “grateful” means
“feeling or showing an appreciation for something done or received.” For example: “I’m grateful to you for all your help.”
Now, sometimes as Trinis we like to give a word a double meaning or should I say either remove or add to the meaning of a word.
Let me give you an example. If I had three hungry children and someone gave me only enough food for one of them should I be grateful?
Yes, of course… I would say “Thank you very much, I appreciate this food.”
However, here is the catch and the misinterpretation by some… if I turn around and say to the person.
“Thank you very much, I appreciate this food. I have two other children who are hungry do you by chance have more please?”
Does that mean I am not grateful? No, according to the definition of the word I was appreciative of what I got, however that does not mean I have to be satisfied with it.
Does that make sense? I am grateful, but it does not meet my needs so I still need to seek more.
I have noticed that some Trini public givers have as a premise that if you get something you should not ask again or say anything further as though we are statues and not evolving living beings with continued needs.
How silly it would be to say “Well I got food for one child already so I won’t bother with the other two children, I should just be grateful.”
Now, it may be that I have to seek food for my other two children elsewhere or by my own means but that does not mean I was not grateful.
I notice there is an unwritten belief in most Trini hierarchy that if you get something, no matter what it is you should never want more even if it is not asked for or does not fulfill your needs.
Asking questions or inquiring also seems to be a big red flag for many in the Trini hierarchy.
Here is another example. Some Trinis love to put ketchup on their food. If you bought some food and asked for some ketchup but were given mustard would you be happy with that?
Imagine if you responded by saying, “I do not want mustard, I want ketchup please”
To which the food seller said, “I gave you mustard you should be grateful.”
How would you react to that? If a need is not being met then are you ungrateful for not being satisfied with what is given especially when you are paying for it?
Now, let’s look at another angle.
I need to mention the word “gentle” which by definition is,
“…having or showing a mild, kind, or tender temperament or character.”
When you are really grateful you show that gratitude through a “gentle” demeanor.
Let me give you an example…
Imagine if you were part of a group where people gave stuff away for free to people who needed it.
Now imagine if I were giving away a fridge and someone said they needed it because they had none but additionally wanted me to bring it for them because they were too poor to get transport… would that mean they were ungrateful?
Not necessarily, it really depends on if they initially showed appreciation and how they asked.
For instance, the person might say, “May I have the fridge please? I really need it as we have none but unfortunately I am unable to get transport, can you assist?”
This shows a gentle approach, one that is unassuming and understanding that they are getting the item for free and they know I am not obligated to drop it.
Conversely, imagine if the person said this, “Interested in fridge, you can drop it at my home call me first to see if I am available”
You may think no one would dare to say that to someone giving them something for free, however I have seen this more than once.
No gratitude was expressed in my example, in fact the proper word to use here is “impertinent”.
By definition, “impertinent” means “…not showing proper respect; rude.”
I actually believe that when Trini hierarchy gives something to other Trinis in the public domain the real words they want to use is “You all are too impertinent”
However, another example is needed.
During this pandemic people have not been able to work for months… this means they have lost literally tens of thousands of dollars even if they were a minimum wage worker.
Their inability to work is not by choice, it is by law, and guess what… their bills are tens of thousands of dollars.
Just look at the cost of renting, rising food prices, electricity and basic necessities.
So… if I were in the hierarchy and my solution of imposing the enforcement of law on to your loss of tens of thousands of dollars was to simply give you a basket of food that may last a couple of days or maybe a loan that would only cover 10% of your bills.
Should I express gratitude… be grateful?
I’m not finished yet, but I just wanted to point out another video I have called, “Walk the Talk” about temperance in leadership. I will put it at the end of this video please have a look.
Words such as “please”, “may I”, “I will be grateful if”, “I would appreciate if…”, and “thank you” are sometimes hard to come by these days.
I will admit that many times I have gone to buy items and said these words to the seller or staff and you can see the relative shock on the sales person’s face because they are often not treated with courtesy by the public.
How many times have you stopped your car to allow someone to cross or come out of their drive way and they just left without acknowledgment?
In those cases no gratitude was expressed. Sometimes this may also make you think twice about extending that courtesy again, but do not stop, because there are people out there who are grateful for such kindness.
So are Trinis grateful as a people?
I would say in general we are grateful as a people.
Yes, there are one or two out there who seem to lack the decorum or manners, but I often think maybe they were never shown any and so do not express what they do not know.
I also believe that when people are put into positions where they serve others they need to understand where gratitude ought to be targeted.
Does the servant expect that gratitude for the service he is paid for be rendered by those he serves if his services is not able to meet the needs of those he serves?
One of my biggest concerns about Trinidad and Tobago is the way we treat each other and communicate.
We need to treat each other in a more gentle, considerate, and compassionate manner and this should start with those at the top of the hierarchy if we expect to move forward.
Gentleness in our communication, gratitude in all that we receive and continued determination in addressing those things that are still needful.
Related Topic: Greedy Trinidadians?