Opinion

The victims of ingratitude | Nandell Palmer

I am tolerant in accepting people for their foibles. But I struggle dearly to accept those that show ingratitude in return for kindness.

Victims, however, that suffer the stings of ingratitude tend to blame high expectation from others as their downfall.

Some disenchanted people who become victims of ingratitude are parents, spouses, teachers, friends, employers, among others.

A story that has brought ingratitude and high expectation front and center for me is the Parable of the Vineyard, found in Isaiah 5.

When a farmer secured a plot of land for his vineyard, he set about clearing it of stones and old roots. He then planted it with the choicest vine.

Not satisfied with just a mediocre garden, he built a tower and a winepress in its center. The farmer was doing all this for the express purpose of yielding good grapes.

With all the love, care, time, hard work and nurturing he invested in his vineyard, to his disappointment, the harvest brought forth only wild grapes.

“What more could have been done to my vineyard that I have not done in it?” the disgruntled farmer asked.

Refusing to prune and upkeep his property, he decided to tear down the fencing and have the garden overrun by anything and anybody.

How many prospective couples have planted choice vineyards in the hope of reaping the fruits of a blissful marriage?

No stones were left unturned during courtship to ensure that their matrimony would look nothing like their divorced parents’ existence. Nevertheless, that expectation was short-lived when one spouse took a turn in the wrong direction.

What about the parents who have gone above and beyond to advocate for their children’s success? They have done everything humanly possible to steer their progeny down the right path.

How does a university president cope with his daughter who is a college dropout? How effectively can a pastor preach to his congregants when his son is on crack?

Drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and truancy were never parts of the hopes and dreams Mama and Daddy had for their children.

As any good farmer knows, farming is a matter of cause and effect. If there’s a cause, then there’s a cure. The best elixir for ingratitude and over expectation is forgivingness of self and others.

If forgiveness is not put in place soon, those wrestling disappointments can be converted into guilt and consume you over time.

Like the proverbial farmer, you, too, are asking: “What more could I have done with what I had to work with?”

Do not be so hard on yourself if you strongly believe that you have done the right thing with the right intentions for your loved ones who have now let you down.

Remember, to whom much is given, much is required. You cannot convert water into wine. If your choice garden was only a quarter acre, then you did the best you could.

Here’s hoping that you will not be discouraged from planting choice gardens because of some bad ones you had cultivated years ago. Just be a little more cautious when selecting your seedling.

Take keen notice of the life lessons your fruit trees will teach you: Try as they might, they cannot bear fruit if they’re not in season.

When it’s harvest time, they will yield you a bountiful crop. Thus, you cannot give what you don’t have.

In the meantime, stop worrying about the people that have let you down. Convert those disappointments into creative energy.

You will be amazed. With just a little initiative, you can plant positive and empowering seeds in your imagination. And in that fertile realm, those seeds will grow ever stronger in their beneficial influence.

See the elaborate, positive scenarios at work from those seeming setbacks. They will allow you to imagine the very best in humanity from this point on.

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