Tuesday 18 January 2011


Every authentic book has a page devoted to acknowledgements where the writer(s) thank everyone who were instrumental for the making of the book. Though it is quite common to see acknowledgements in books, it has become a bit sparse in real life. I don't find people making it a point to acknowledge other people for their achievements, however small.

I find this streak especially in people who have crossed the middle-age bracket. Sometimes when they get some vital ideas from junior colleagues, they present the ideas as if it is their own and revel in the applause and admiration. Well, a single line acknowledging the person behind the idea would have gained the individual more admiration. I cannot make this trait a sweeping generalisation but I have seen this happening more often.

While younger individuals are quick to acknowledge the effort of others, people who are older fail to do so. Probably as one advances in age, the factor that they should be all-knowing encompasses their thinking which makes them unable to acknowledge any other individual thus grabbing the credit for themselves.

In India, we have a different system from the Western one where one does not say 'Thank You' for everything. Culturally, we are not quite akin to thanking people. Perhaps that cultural feature continues to dwell in every aspect of our life as well. But public acknowledgement is not mandatory but atleast a pat on the back will sure make a difference.

As I progress with this post, the thoughts that were dominant in the beginning are gradually beginning to fade as I think of our culture and its implications. But what reigns supreme in my mind is that every person needs that bit of acknowledgement as it is an incentive for performing better.

What is your take on this? Are you quick to acknowledge the role of people in your endeavours or do you find yourself a bit stingy with compliments?


  1. A great post. I am the first to acknowledge the efforts of others and to give credit where it is due.
    I loose nothing by this action. it is true that here people like to keep things under wrap and not give credit where it is due....

  2. Savira:

    May your tribe increase. Though I personally know many people who take the effort to acknowledge the efforts of someone, the percentage of people who do not do so far outgrows the number who do acknowledge.

    We don't lose anything but gain a lot of respect and love by everyone by choosing to acknowledge the fact that someone has done something commendable.

    I wish you eternal joy and peace :)

  3. Acknowledgements have more value when it comes from someone elder. Like you said..it only adds respect.. now whatever ego means. :P

    Age is definitely a factor.. but self respect has a lot of role to play- how can one ever say what somebody else thinks as his own??

  4. Sameera:

    Three letters define it all: E.G.O. Well, . . .

  5. Oh yeah...and I've seen people quickly take credit, but pass on blame! Maybe they are people who lack confidence in themselves, who would rather bask in the glory they do not deserve.

    For me, it's an instant pat on the back for those who deserve it and I wouldn't mind taking responsibility for things that went wrong because of my team.

  6. This is such an intriguing post because it is so very true sadly. I do try to acknowledge others especially when something I have accomplished is a direct result of someone else. I also feel it's very important. I'm sure I forget sometimes but I do try. :)

    But I too see this lack of acknowledging others talents, gifts, wisdom, help often. I think it is so sad and also harmful, mostly to the person who pretends the idea is their own and accepts praise that isn't really their due.

    Maybe the only way to counteract this is to be quick with our own praise and acknowledgments. It is really quite humbling.:)

    Very good topic!

  7. i think to acknowledge somone's contribution, one will have to lower himself a bit. May be we find it tough
    And even another reason is the insecurity or mistrust we have for others

  8. Many of my friends, consider it too formal to acknowledge every deed, every time. There's this famous movie dialogue: In friendship, no sorry, no thank you. In short, friends here take it for granted that they should help and be helped by each other.

  9. i hear you...acknowledging the ones that helped you get where you are will go further to assuring you stay there than any foolish pride...yes people need acknowledged as much as we need to be reminded we did not get there alone

  10. People take it for granted and this business of stealing ideas (which is not acknowledging the person/s behind it) is prevalent everywhere... Blame is quickly acknowledged as somebody said, and passed on!!

    And if when we are in the habit of using thank you, to ppl who are not used to hearing it as often as we do and use it, well... we are labelled!!

    Don't exaggerate in appreciation or ruin in depreciation

    Hugs and lv...

    So, acknowledgment page is ready :)

  11. I agree with what you've said about the cultural influence...

    But honestly I make it a point to thank even the unknown man on the road who guided me for some route..or the person behind the counter who did a good job by billing my stuff or even the lift man who got me at the right floor..

    I mean why not thank people who help in even in tiny ways? So acknowledge? yes I do that and I would continue doing that :)

  12. What a great point to reflect on. Sadly, our education now puts a lot of emphasis on competition that the objective is to show that you are better than the next person, hence perhaps the reluctance to give credit where it is due!

  13. I acknowledge other's efforts generally, but not for something that is their duty to do. Or when someone boasts of it, showing off to the world..

  14. to me, it all comes down to that basic tenet of treating others as you would like to be treated - i've never had an issue acknowledging the whatever of someone else - but in a world of "me-ism", it is not surprising to find those who are too insecure in themselves to be able to acknowledge good in someone else -

    neat, insightful post, as always, susan! thanks so much for coming by my campfires with your messages of peace and love -

    hugs - jenean

  15. I agree with what you've said. I can see how some deceive themselves into thinking their successes came about only through their own efforts. We can all probably do well to thank others more.

  16. I agree. Acknowledging someone for their good deeds is indeed encouragement.

    great post
    thank you!

  17. Susan, I just like to send you my love and to say thank you for your friendship.

    I am leaving my blogs for good. Just like to make some last stops first. Take care and remain sweet always!


  18. I have seen people stingy in general with compliments/acknowledgements especially in our part of the world? Do you get a similar feeling?

    The age divide didn;t occur to me...maybe you are right...For my part I try to be fair and I hope I am :)

  19. Oh yes, I acknowledge people constantly. I have a very easy time giving compliments and making sure people that have helped me or played a major role in my life are aware of this. I guess at all times I feel that I need to say this today, as I never know if I ever get a chance to acknowledge them again tomorrow.;)
    So, thank you my dear Susan for being my most followed reader and dearest friend - and thank you for such a lovely comment on my post today.;) The sentiments you express in your words there are mutual and are returned:))

  20. I have the tendency to acknowledge others and not give myself enough credit even when it's due :P

    Re what you said about Thank you in the Indian culture...I so agree. For some reason, my sister and I were brought up with learning to thank everyone...auto rickshaw drivers, shopkeepers etc...as modelled by our parents. And I remember friends telling me at school that I didn't have to thank the autorickshaw driver because he was doing his job!! In the west (and Aus) people do thank others for small things. A couple of yrs ago when I went back to India, I remember at a coffee shop with a friend I thanked the waiter for the coffee and then the bill and he was so grateful...when we left he kept saying "Thank you madam, thank you madam" just to me and not my friend...it was a bit embarrassing but I also realised just how few people actually thank them!!!

  21. Great topic and post, Susan.
    Thanks so much for sharing it. :)

    You're so right.
    I am the first to give credit where it is due.
    Acknowledging someone is such a great encouragement.

    Hugs to you!
    B xx

    P.S. MY apologies. I've been too busy...I've fallen behind on my blog catch up.

  22. I'm always glad to give credit to someone who has helped me in some way. I think acknowledgement makes both sides feel good.
    Lovely post, as usual Susan!

  23. RGB:

    You are a lovely human being. Glad to have you share your insight here.


    It is indeed humbling :)

  24. John:

    You have truly expressed the problem here.


    This does not apply for friends but still acknowledging our friends is not wrong. Acknowledging is slightly different from saying 'Thanks.'

  25. Susan

    It may very well be a cultural thing, but I see it is also prevalent here in the West, but it is not limited to age, for I witness it across all age groups. It is as you say EGO, - the very root of all our human ailments.
    I can go on here, but it is a valuable thing to be aware of and to remember to take the time to acknowledge others, it is a sign of strength of (inner) character. We are all busy it seems -- but least we forget and put it off , we may not get a second chance.

    As always thought provoking ,,, you inspire, and push us to ponder and think about our small ingrained too sadly long standing habits.

    warm hugs,

  26. Brian:

    Acknowledging people's efforts just shows how we cannot manage anything alone. We are all connected.


    Well said, dear Ash.

    The page was ready a year ago :)

  27. NU:

    You have just said it. Why not? But there are many who don't think anything about acknowledging. Maybe I cannot blame them. It is after all cultural.


    Competition. 100% true. Giving credit is humbling oneself and so many don't venture that side.

  28. Harish:

    Glad that you acknowledge acknowledging.


    The beasic tenet you follow is not a way of life for many. I like the term "me-ism," and sadly "me-ism" rules in today's world

    Big hugs and much love, Jenean.

  29. Myrna:

    :) You said it.


    Not only encouragement but also humility and greatness.

  30. Silver:

    It is sad that you are leaving the Blogosphere. I wish you all the best and the wisdom you imparted to me was immense and priceless.

    Take care and be joyous.

    Big hugs to you dear Silver. Much love :)

  31. Yuvika:

    I am glad that you are so. Lovely.


    Thank you for your ever kind words, dear Zuzana. Love you for your beautiful self.

    Big hugs and joy always :)

  32. PB:

    You have touched upon a very vital issue related to this topic: The value-system imparted to us while growing up. I think much depends on the environment at home.


    Thanks :)

  33. Betty:

    You are wonderful, Betty. How else will you be? Glad to have found you in Blogosphere.


    Thanks for your kind words, dear DUTA and I am glad that you embody someone who acknowledges people.

  34. Joanny:

    Your kind words always lighten me up. I guess these small acts will become pretty obscure after ten years as the norm will be "me-ism." Gratitude, politeness and other qualities of yore are gradually taking a backseat. Sigh.

    Joy always.

  35. interesting difference between your culture and others. Mine (Colombian) over endulges on thank yous and excuse mes. A formal letter's first paragraph is nothing but formalities. Aghhhh.

    Acknowledgement...your post reminded me of a situation at work years ago. Acknowledging others goes hand on hand with respecting them, valuing them

    Great post as always, very thought provoking

  36. Myriam:

    We should maybe think of linking our cultural systems. Respect and value: definitely a big YES.

    Joy always :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails