I was coming out of the grocery store last night, and as I hit a parking lot bump, my potato rolls jumped out of a bag and hit the pavement. A teen walking the other way stopped short, picked up the rolls and said "Here you go, Ma'am", tipped his baseball cap and started to walk away.
"Ma'am? Hat tip?" I thought. "Wow. From a teen, even!".
"Thank you so much!" I said with a grin. Just then, I thought, "Wow..."thank you" is a word that has been ingrained to be an automatic response. Did I say it out of reflex, or did I say it because I meant it?"
I did mean it. I was more thankful seeing a teen, all decked out in teen fashion, using "Sir" and "Ma'am", tipping his baseball cap like days of yore, than thankful about my potato rolls. Potato rolls are a dime a dozen.....seeing such formality and manners with teens, is a jewel! I thanked that kid, not for preserving my rolls, but for renewing my faith in youth manners that I thought was slowly being lost.
I think he knew my "thank you" was heartfelt and sincere....at least I hope so! However... some people have a hard time saying thank you. Have you met people like that?
Some of us have different reasons why we might have a hard time saying "Thank You", but consider this....
A student of mine quoted an an acquaintance of his as once harshly saying "The word 'sorry' is the most overused word in the friggin' English language, get over the sorry part and start doing!" Well, you know why its so overused? Because some people *expect* the word "sorry" to be payment for a perceived affront....those same people don't use or choose not to use the words "thank you" enough to acknowledge the other's willingness to acknowledge their mistake.
Get off the ego high horse...no one really *owes* you the word "sorry". It would be one thing if you loaned a friend your lawnmower, and the friend accidentally broke it by running over a hidden rock or tree root. Yes they might have broke it, and yes the right thing to do is for them to apologize and maybe offer to fix it or buy you a new one. But really, they don't *owe* you anything if it was an accident. Would you demand the same apology from yourself if YOU broke the mower under same accidental circumstances? Why is it that you'd let yourself slide yet demand the World from your friend?
If you see the world in extreme black or white, or if you demand the world always be fair to you, you're in for a shock...the world *owes you nothing*. Its been here before you...if anything YOU owe *it*. Say "Thank you" for the opportunity to live on this particular area of the Universe!
"Thank you" is the phrase that pays.....it acknowedges acceptance for both giver and receiver. Use it often!