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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Thank You", the phrase that pays.....

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 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 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 acknowedges acceptance for both giver and receiver. Use it often!


Frank said...

Growing up, manners were absolutely stressed. Please, thank you, you're welcome, excuse me, I'm sorry, sir, ma'am, etc. were so ingrained... Good manners have taken me far in life. My parents were just flawed human beings like any others, and they were often unreasonably harsh with me, but the one thing that I will always be grateful for, is that they instilled these essential things into my being, and they have become part of who I am as a person.

Restita, Seattle Wushu Center said...

I can almost hear the wheels turning for some reading this.... "But what if someone purposefully deceived me?"..."What if someone broke my Lawnmower then tried to purposefully hide it or lie to me about it?....are you saying they don't owe me an apology? I demand an apology, dammit!"

Regardless of what someone has done, they don't *owe* you an apology, and here's why:

* In the end, it is their choice to be strong and courageous to own up to what they did and apologize. *Their* choice. Therefore saying "thank you" and being grateful that they took time to swallow their pride and ego to prostrate themselves (so to speak) before you to admit and own up to wrongdoing, is a sign that to acknowledge their action. If they don't apologize, the only thing that happens is that you have a broken lawnmower....the other person will need to deal with their own made up excuses and selfish, self absorbed behavior. Don't indulge their behavior by demanding an apology if they're not willing to give it...otherwise you too will become selfish with an "I want-I demand-I need vengeance-I demand fairness..." Demand demand. Now who is self absorbed?

* Think to yourself, and determine if it is really worth the energy to be angry enough to demand an apology. Did you just wheel that lawnmower out of your garage and loan it to your friend, or did you specifically tune it up and bought accessories for it so your friend would have a easier time with their difficult lawn. If you just wheeled it out without putting gas in it, or if you didn't even include an electric extension cord with it, then don't expect twice-over payment" for a "once over" effort on your part.

*Some of us tend to see our giving to other people as "sacrifices", and our pride would sometimes naturally say "Look at all these sacrifices i made for you! Look what I did for you! You OWE ME!" Well, it was YOUR choice to make those sacrifices or NOT. Are you making sacrifices just so you can see payback? Is that the only reason you "sacrifice" for others?

Food for thought,....just my opinion.

Restita, Seattle Wushu Center said...

Thanks for your comment Frank! The attitude of gratitude is always a wonderful thing!

The Joker Actuary said...

Thank you is indeed a phrase that pays, sometimes in unexpected terms! Here are some 28 ways to say thank you that I found when working in an office. ;)