One of the things I appreciate about Japanese culture is how we were taught to bow–bow before eating; bow before entering church; bow before entering a martial arts dojo; bow before fighting. Every chance I get, I try to teach my sons to bow. The bow is like a pause that not only shows respect, but also gives one the opportunity to be thankful for what one is going to experience.
Being thankful often takes time. It annoys me when my sons say thank you to someone when they aren’t looking or in the process of opening the gift they were just given. I want them to stop and be aware of the feelings of gratitude that are necessary to be truly thankful.
The truth is that I need to slow down and do the same thing. I used to say thank you like a knee jerk reaction because I was taught that it was polite to thank others. Now I try to add a “for” and/or “because” clause to my thank yous.<bow> “Thank you for reading this post because it makes me feel like I have something valuable to offer the world.”</bow> (I stole the html idea from Rarasaur. Thank you for your creativity and generosity, Rara, because you make the blogosphere a better place.)
There is also something humbling about prostrating oneself before an other. Imagine if we bowed before and after we had an argument. Wouldn’t it be much better to be thinking, “thank you for taking the time to argue with me” than “I can’t believe you grew up in the same Universe of logic that I did, you moron” at the end of an argument?
I wonder if any Japanese in Japan bow before and/or after having sex. Luckily, I haven’t had to have that talk with my boys yet. Men should, however, definitely bow more to women in general. I’m planning on teaching my boys to bow down to women every opportunity they get, even if it is a mental bow.
On that note, I would like to bow down in gratitude to the incredible women whom I follow: My wife, Mirth and Motivation, NikotheOrb, Dieuonthegrass, Sthetic, Caroline Skanne, This is My Thought Translator, Joy and Woe, The Temenos Journal, Rarasaur, Dianne Gray, Bodhisattvaintraining, and Oliviaobryon. If I left anyone out, I humbly apologize–cutting and pasting URLs has given me a glue high.
Thank you for reading, sharing and/or smiling.
Who would you bow down to in gratitude? Please share.
- Gratitude and Thankfulness – hand in hand, each leading forward and on, towards the other ~ Reed. (2rqod.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful (autumninbruges.wordpress.com)
- Gratitude (wellnessinnurses.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge : Thankful (cherylandrews.wordpress.com)