It is never illegal to be grateful.
In addition to its legality, I have found that gratitude is one of the best tools to avoid unnecessary legal battles and minimize the financial and other negative ramifications that sometimes follow life and work in today’s world.
Gratitude is a topic that comes up with almost every client I advise. Clients are grateful for our work, and I am grateful for their confidence in our firm. However, gratitude often also allows us to analyze legal situations in perspectives that can allow us to not only acquire peace of mind but also more effectively resolve disputes or put challenges behind us in some instances.
I recently conferenced with a client couple whom I have grown to literally love. A year ago, they reserved a three-month vacation house stay in Arizona to take place in early 2017. Their friends bought plane tickets and scheduled work leave to accommodate visiting while my friends rented the house for three months beginning in January.
Two weeks ago, my friends called to ask for the mailing address for the last payment for the reservation. Without explanation, the owner simply cancelled my clients’ reservation.
My clients have every justification to be madder than me when I am forced to travel through Michigan. Nonetheless, with reflection, prayer and an attitude of gratitude, my friends realized that they were at least glad to know of the canceled plans in November rather than upon arrival in Arizona in January. Because of their perspective, they only had me to ask the owner for reimbursement for their expenses and my fees, even though the replacement home they found and reserved is smaller than the house initially reserved.
Similarly, I am working with clients who recently faced a several hundred-thousand-dollar financial setback. Financial devastation brought along understandable humiliation, fear and anger. We stopped the financial losses as best we could from a legal perspective, but gratitude proved to be our most valuable resource. We regularly discuss my clients’ fortune in family and friends. And, I told them that I personally would gladly live in millions of dollars of debt for the rest of my life if it would keep one of my nieces or nephews out of the hospital for even one night.
Another classic legal instance in which gratitude goes a long way is in the context of people’s deaths. Sometimes, kids can be surprised, angry or otherwise hurt when they open their parents’ wills to discover their parents’ wishes, which can appear to be or actually be unfair or inconsistent. In those contexts, I find it helpful to encourage everyone to focus on gratitude for getting anything, even if it was simply a safe home and warm food while growing up.
I have found that an effective way to avoid some legal issues and to minimize the damage from a variety of legal and professional setbacks is to find something for which to be grateful, which gratitude is never illegal and always helpful.
Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney at Schroeder Law LLC in Putnam County. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 419-659-2058. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.