How were you raised? I was raised by parents who did not acknowledge me, unless I began most statements with “please” and ended with “thank you.”
But, perhaps some of us were raised differently?
Maybe some of us always got what we wanted, without having to put in much effort—or without using any thoughtful or meaningful words? This certainly could explain the lack of respectful acknowledgement that I am seeing more and more, day in and day out.
It is the little things I notice—those little things that often go overlooked. For example, saying “thank you,” when being seated at a table in a café or restaurant, or the lack of the word, “please,” when placing an order. “Please” and “thank you” are words that I rarely hear today—these words seem to be disappearing from our vernacular as a society.
I was at a Japanese steakhouse and there were two other families present. My partner and I were the only two at the table of ten who were saying “please” and “thank you.”
It irritated us a bit to see the other eight people seem so thoughtless! However, I do not wish to sound cruel to judge. Maybe they had long days, or something bad was happening which caused them to drop their “manners guard,” however, I still would argue that it does not take much to simply acknowledge a service provided with a “please” and ended with a “thank you.”
The speed of society seems to intervene, and some of us do not feel we have the time—or maybe even the consciousness—to say these words to people.
I use these words, not to gain a reaction out of those who are doing something worthwhile or helpful for me, but instead to show my respect for the work that they do. I also use these words as a simple sign of respect for people who deserve to hear “please” and “thank you.”
Hearing these words can alter the mood—and possibly the entire day—of a person. Being acknowledged for simple deeds is a sign of respect—it’s a sign that we appreciate the services of people who go above and beyond to make our day a little brighter and easier.
When we say “please” and “thank you,” we are essentially putting on display the recognition that someone is willing to provide us a service at our request. We say it—not for their gracious reply—but instead, to let them know that they are appreciated.
Let us be mindful of those who, in good practice, use these simple words to help raise the spirits of those around us. Do not think of these words as a sign of weakness. We all can use a little help now and then, and if we are lucky enough to have someone who is willing to help—whether by choice or by obligation—let us be mindful and grateful. Let’s offer them the courtesy and the simple respect of a “please,” and let’s complete the process of acknowledgment with a kind “thank you.”
Because it really doesn’t take much effort to provide a little common courtesy. Thank you!
Author: Adam Wilkinson