I heard an interesting comment the other day from an unexpected source. The person said, “If you respect the abundance you already have, you’re more likely to get more. Whereas if you dismiss what you already have, you are likely to receive less.” You might think this came out of the mouth of a minister or some self-help guru, but it didn’t. It came from a banker. I had gone in to talk about some new investments and we got to talking about money in general and how people aren’t always grateful for what they have.
As we talked, he started telling me a little of his life’s story. He was raised in a fairly poor household. His parents squandered whatever money they got on cigarettes, liquor, or other non-necessities. They didn’t respect their stuff, letting houses, cars, tools, etc. fall into decay, yet constantly complaining when things needed repair or replacement. When the banker left home, he vowed that he wouldn’t end up like that. He said he always made it a point to respect what he had and to be grateful for everything, even when it seemed like he didn’t have more than three cents to his name.
Then he really surprised me by talking about how he came to use coupons. “I believe that if you don’t respect when something — no matter how small — is put in front of you to help you, that you will never get more of anything.” He said when he started seeing coupons for $.25 or $.50 off of items that he used all the time, he realized that those were there for his use, to help him out. So he started using them and being grateful every time he saved even the tiniest amounts of money.
“People made fun of me,” he said, “For getting excited about saving a quarter. But I know that I need to respect that quarter just like I would respect one hundred dollars. If I can’t show respect for the smallest amount of money, what makes the universe, karma, God, or whatever other entity you believe in think that I would ever deserve more? Because I respect the small things, I think I’ve been blessed and entrusted with more over the years than I might have been had I turned my nose up at saving small amounts of money.”
He went on to talk about the small things beyond coupons such as picking up spare change, making sure he avoids nuisance fees, and generally taking care of every dollar he receives. I left the bank thinking about what he’d said. I realize that you can’t necessarily “gratitude” your way to wealth. Nothing is as easy as the book, “The Secret” makes it out to be. You can’t just think that you should be wealthy and automatically end up there.
But I do think there is something to respecting what you are given and being grateful for it. I think that there is something to showing God or the universe that you appreciate even the tiniest amount of abundance and that you won’t squander or casually dismiss what you have been given.
I know this works in my own life. There have been times when I thought I had it made, that I didn’t have to be careful with money anymore. And it’s generally been during those times when I have been shot down by a medical emergency, a major car repair, or some other calamity. It seems that when I am actively respecting my money and my things, I seem to fare better. I seem to receive more raises, get extra clients, or am gifted with some other forms of abundance.
Obviously this isn’t true all of the time, but it is a general trend I’ve noticed. Unfortunately, no matter how grateful and respectful you are of the abundance in your life, there are going to be times when everything seems to go against you. If people who respected abundance were never visited by hard times, we’d all probably be a lot more grateful. People who are enormously grateful and respectful suffer adversity, too. However, I think that demonstrating gratitude and respect for the abundance you have does open the door to additional abundance.
You might try it sometime. What’s the worst that could happen? It turns out not to be true. But at least you will have developed a more pleasant attitude, found some peace in your life, and gotten beyond the entitlement mindset that so many people carry around these days. And that’s certainly worth something, in and of itself.