El·e·na [el-uh-nuh, uh-ley-nuh; It. e-le-nah] /ˈɛlənə, əˈleɪnə; It. ɛˈlɛnɑ/ –noun a female given name, form of Helen // A proud student of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche // Personal assistant with a BSc (Hons) Psych from Uni of Warwick // These are snapshots of my life, in words and pictures

Ingratitude

April 3, 2011 0

I’m not exactly the most Zen person in the world. In fact, it’s hardly a well-kept secret that I’ve got a temper, that I can be quite outspoken and that if something’s wrong, well I don’t keep quiet about it.

I’m more than happy to point out when people have screwed up, not because I want to engage in schadenfreude and laugh at them – oftentimes, it’s because I can’t quite understand how they got such a simple thing wrong. On the other hand, I’m more than happy to point out when people have done right and why not? Give credit where credit’s due.

I’ve been through these attitudes with Beng Kooi a thousand times (thank god for the liaison council’s buddy system!) who said that my attitudes are neither right nor wrong – in fact, if well-applied, they can actually be beneficial. What I lack however, is the skilful analysis of when I should apply them. So oftentimes I hurt others because I apply my attitudes too quickly, without prior analysis of the goings-on.

If there’s one thing I absolutely cannot stand though, and will not keep quiet about because it gets my blood boiling, it is ingratitude. And I’m not one to hold double standards about this – when I am ungrateful, I get extremely cross with myself.

What is it about ingratitude that gets me? It’s a few things.

It’s the snubbing of those who have helped you to become a success.

It’s the assumption that you became what you are, without the help of others.

It is the active desire for the ‘me’ to prosper at the cost of thanking others because let’s face it, how much does a proper ‘thank you’ cost?

Above all, it is the sheer selfishness of ingratitude that really bothers me.

So why is gratitude so important to me?

You see, for me, the practice of gratitude encompasses a large number of other practices. For me, the practice of gratitude is about having the integrity to realise you didn’t do it on your own.

It is about the responsibility for taking care of those who have previously helped you.

It is about compassion and using what you have resulted in to help others to rise too.

It is about having the wisdom to recognise those who have helped you.

It is about humility and not being shy to express such thanks.

Being ungrateful goes against all of that for me, so it makes ingratitude oh-so very wrong.

So who is my role model when it comes to gratitude?

Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. Why? Because Rinpoche has lived every moment in his entire life in the gratitude of the kindness of his teachers, like Sermey Khensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche, Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and of course, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

He has done this by following their instructions to live his life for the benefit of others. From establishing Kechara House to establishing the 13 departments (and counting), to the final goal of Kechara World Peace Centre – Rinpoche has worked tirelessly all of his life to alleviate the sufferings of others so for me, in the Gratitude Stakes, Rinpoche is incomparable.

May I attain such levels of gratitude in my lifetime.

, , , , Reflections and Teachings

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