Gratitude Has No Expiration Date
The famine that besieged Egypt and the rest of the world had come to an end. Joseph, along with the entire generation, had all passed away. And:
“A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know of Joseph.”(Exodus 1:8)
A LIFE LESSON
Is it really possible that anyone – let alone a king – would be unaware of all that Joseph had done for the country? How could anyone in Egypt ever forget the vital role he played its survival? Joseph, as second in command and sole architect of making Egypt the richest country on Earth, should have been immortalized for eternity. It defies logic that anyone could forget the one person who single-handedly saved Egypt and the entire world from famine.
Joseph wasn’t forgotten in the sense that no one “remembered” him. Rather, the significance of his life-saving contributions had simply faded from everyone’s memory.
Joseph’s insights and acumen clearly saved the lives of every man, women, and child. But as soon as the necessity of his contributions were no longer needed, then the appreciation for Joseph ceased as well. When the pain of Egypt’s experience ended, so did their memory of Joseph.
During the massive famine that spread throughout the entire world, Joseph was at the center of it all. Every country was dependent upon Egypt for their survival. But when the famine ended, then Joseph’s help was no longer valuable or even needed. And, over time, the mental leap that someone makes from when a person‘s contributions are no longer needed and the memory of when they were so desperately needed becomes smaller and smaller. And after an entire generation passed away, the people in Egypt simply did not know of Joseph.
Difficult to imagine? It actually occurs in our own lives all the time. Think about it. There are people who have helped you enormously in the past in one way or another. And when they gave you their assistance – whatever it might have been – you certainly expressed your gratitude. But as time went on, it’s just not natural to continue to shower the person with appreciation and gratitude.
But this doesn’t mean that you can’t let them know “out of the blue” once again just how much you appreciate what they did for you. Saying “thank you” to the person long after they’ve given you their help, is such a beautiful and selfless way to live. And the recipient will appreciate it beyond words.
It is very easy to forget people who were there for us, because once their assistance is no longer needed, our appreciation for what they did can easily fade away. And as more and more time passes, we can actually completely forget those people who were there for us when we needed them the most.
It’s not that hard to show appreciation toward someone right after he’s helped you. But the true measure of a person is not demonstrated by the gratitude you show a person after he’s helped you. Rather, the measure of a person is demonstrated by the heartfelt gratitude he can still show long after the fact. True gratitude is not defined by a person who doesn’t forget; it’s defined by the one who always remembers. Make the call today.
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