By Alfie Dsouza, Team Mangalorean. -March 3, 2018
Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality. It is in recognition of humanity. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it- Ralph Marston
Gratitude is the best attitude. There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance. Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention – Joseph AdissonMangaluru: I was very much touched and appreciated the kind thoughts and gesture of Fr Eric Mathias Sj-the Director of St Aloysius Industrial Training Institute (SAITI)-Mangaluru and the bevy of faculty and staff there, when they arranged a function to celebrate my birthday (actually on 18 March) to express gratitude and thanks for covering their events for the past few months- and more than that for being their great friend. They all whole-heartedly showed their appreciation towards me and Mangalorean.com for being part of their projects. Along with me, SAITI also showed their appreciation and celebrated their former Director Fr (Dr) Leo D’souza Sj’s birthday (which was on 1 March) also-who has done so much for the Institute in its development and initiative projects. And it was also a great moment for me, to celebrate my birthday along with Fr Leo, for the fact, he was my Principal when I did my final B Sc at St Aloysius College. To you Fr Eric Mathias Sj, lecturers, staff and students, and the rest of SAITI family I say a big thank you, on behalf of Fr Leo and myself-Your kind gesture and love meant a lot to me, and also to the management and team members of Mangalorean.com.
On the other hand, I want to let others know that we reporters/media people are doing a favor to you in covering your events, thereby spreading the message/news throughout the world- and in response a small thank you or a kind appreciation from your side will mean a lot to us. But the sad part is that, as I have experienced so far, especially in Mangaluru, not many reciprocate our service with words of wisdom or gratitude. To give one example- Once I did a nice coverage for a Catholic institute while their new chapel was being built, and through my coverage on our website, they even few donations for the project. In return, forget about a thank you note, the (Fr) Director of the institute didn’t even bothered to invite me for the inaugural ceremony of the Chapel- he remembered to call the builders, rich guys and so on, and not a simple reporter who also had played an important role in that project. How nice? All you rest of the folks, take an example from management, staff and students of SAITI- they appreciate what we media people do for them, and we sincerely appreciate their gratitude towards to us. That’s how it should be!
It’s always nice to spend a moment reflecting on the acts of kindness of people around you. Did a friend help you out during your final exams? Did a stranger save your life when you were stuck in flood waters? Did a good Samaritan help you take you to the hospital when you met with an accident? Etc Now, recall how you expressed your gratitude to them. Did you say, “thank you?” Did you appreciate their kind gesture towards you? Did your words communicate your sincerity? Did your appreciation touch someone’s heart?
“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” Indeed, appreciation comes when you feel grateful from the depths of your heart. The head keeps an account of all the benefits you received and gave.
But the heart records the feelings of appreciation, humility, and generosity that one feels when someone showers you with kindness. Even a small act of kindness deserves a ‘thanks.’ You cannot weigh the nobility of the act against intentions to decide whether or not to show your gratitude. So what if your friend helped you get a job only because he wanted you to return the favor? So what if you think that he could have helped you get a better job? It is your moral obligation to express gratitude. In the words of Alfred Painter, ” Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.”
Now coming to the “Get-Together Appreciation” function in the form of celebrating Fr Leo D’souza Sj and mine birthdays organized by SAITI folks on 2 March 2018 at their newly opened ‘Samipya” conference Hall-it was a well-thought off programme to thank two respectable people who have contributed their service towards SAITI. The programme began by invoking God’s blessings through a prayer song sung by Wilson Sir-the Junior Training Officer at SAITI- and whose kind words of wisdom in the form of a prayer did touch the hearts of both the “Birthday Boys” sitting on the dais. Thank you Sir, it meant a lot to us!
Following a heart-warming and very thoughtful introduction on both the “Birthday Boys” done by Roshan D’souza- Vice Principal, SAITI, it was time to cut the deliciously smooth and silky “Black Forest” cake by Fr Leo and Yours Truly, joined along by Fr Eric Mathias Sj and other bevy of SAITI management. Not only we both were treated with a custom-made cake, the SAITI management went a step forward to felicitate both of us with a shawl and bouquet of flowers. I was simply flattered by this overwhelming gesture- thank you all! Addressing the audience, Fr Leo D’souza Sj stressing on the importance of the Plumbing field said, ” Do you know that in England or USA, a plumber makes more money than a doctor. So don’t be shy that you are into a plumbing career, it is not a dirty job-plumbers are very much wanted these days. If there is no water or problem with your tap, the first person to be called is a plumber.”
“In Germany, plumbers are given the best hospitality when they go to their clients homes-and there will be couple of chilled beers ready for them in the refrigerator, once they finish their job. There is nothing to be ashamed of a plumbing job. Many think plumbing is a dirty toilet job- no it’s not, in fact, a bathroom with all the plumbing facilities in it is one of the cleanest places in a house. In Western countries plumbers earn a lot just like the doctors & engineers. I am happy that you are at a great institute trying to learn the great courses, which will help in your future career and will make a better living out of this profession. My sincere thanks to Fr Eric Mathias Sj and the rest for SAITI family members for thinking of me, and also Alfie on our birthdays, and hosting this memorable celebration” added Fr Leo Sj.
Yours Truly addressing the august gathering expressed heartfelt thanks for the love and affection bestowed on me by the SAITI management and students, saying ” As an journo, I know journos don’t expect gifts for the work we do, but receiving words of appreciation or thanks is all we ask. Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. The wise and confident acknowledge service with gratitude. Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone. If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough. Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy. Quoting John F Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” You people at SAITI have been a great source of inspiration to others by your act of gesture and affection. Keep up the good work- you all make a difference in people’s lives. Thanks-a-million!”
Fr Eric Mathias Sj during the grace before meals expressed his sincere words of appreciation saying, “We all need to develop an attitude of gratitude and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. In Fr Leo D’souza sj we have found a gem of a person who has been an instrumental and a strong pillar of our institute right from its inception. His initiatives and support has made our institute reach greater heights and success. And to our friend Alfie who is more than a media reporter for all our events, has been a humble human being. affectionate and we all at SAITI love him dearly. Celebrating birthdays of these two human beings is indeed a befitting way to express our gratefulness, for all that they have done and still doing for our institute”.
Vincent Mendonca-Principal of SAITI welcomed the audience in a very sentimental and courteous way, and also proposed the vote of thanks. The students of SAITI entertained the gathering with a song and a dance. The memorable day ended with a sumptuous home-made meal, meticulously prepared by a relative of a lady staff at SAITI- but unfortunately most of us observing Lent season, there was no ‘Dukra Mass or Chicken sukka” instead delicious Mackerel curry, Spicy Pepper Egg Dry, Veggies etc- strictly Lent Menu, which was “religiously” enjoyed by all, in the company of two Clergy-Fr Leo and Fr Eric!
In conclusion, on a well-thought function hosted by Director of SAITI-Fr Eric Mathias Sj, staff and students, all I have to say on behalf of Fr Leo D’souza Sj and myself, is that, “Sometimes, you cannot repay the debt of gratitude. You simply have to acknowledge the generous act with a humble heart. You can say “thanks” or even present a gift of appreciation, but your tokens of love cannot measure up to the kindness you received. If you have been touched by some one’s generosity, you can do a good turn to another. Your words of appreciation should emerge from the depth of your heart. Your body language should communicate your heartfelt gratitude. A smile can communicate gratitude, so can a nod. In some cultures, people express their thanks with folded hands as if in prayer. Speak with humility, and love, and you will win hearts. Remind others about the importance of expressing gratitude. A word of appreciation can have far-reaching effect. And you good thoughtful folks at St Aloysius ITI have shown and proved all those qualities, and let others follow your example. May God bless you all”.