Though you may not drive a great big Cadillac
Gangsta whitewalls, TV antennas in the back
You may not have a car at all
But remember brothers and sisters
You can still stand tall
Just be thankful for what you got.
Diamond in the back, sunroof top
Diggin’ the scene with a gangsta lean
—William DeVaughn, “Be Thankful”
Gratitude is the heart of any season, but rarely is it at the heart of adverse situations, especially to get hired. Whether unemployed or underemployed, one finds perspective in gratitude, and thus, a positive place for peace of mind.
The above song was a massive hit in my early teen years, in the early ‘70’s. The message is clear, instead of succumbing to envy with what you don’t have, appreciate what you do have. The complete version of the song is around 7 minutes long, and yet, the message is so effortless.
As teens, my friends and I focused on the gangsta (then it was “gangster”) white walls, the television in the car (anyone with a Cadillac with a T.V. in the back of your car, you have it made). Having things is not a sign of success anymore. What defines success for you?
Be thankful, for what YOU got.
As I think about it, the value of the message was not having the Cadillac at all. Just be thankful for what you got. Yes, be content in every possible circumstance.
Then there is the line in the song that is the essence of the message to me that I didn’t get when I was younger:
…you can still stand tall.
It’s hard to stand tall when you are shallow. Small meaning what you don’t have in your possession. Anxiousness derives from focusing on the thing you don’t have. The lesson is to appreciate what is in your hands whether it’s family, talent, or opportunity. Remember that it is not just a holiday obligation, but a year round responsibility.
Sincere gratitude is the overflow of the heart. When you can’t help prioritize the expression of gratitude, people love it. Approach people you come in contact with thankfulness.
No telling that this new attitude may help you stand out among many candidates.