Thursday, October 12, 2006

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." ~ G.B. Stern

Too many times it seems that people forget to say "thank you" - two simple words that can make all the difference in the world and that take no time at all to say. The 2006 Lenox etiquette poll found that nearly five out of every 10 people don't always say thanks. The annual survey of more than 2,000 people by the Lenox Company of New Jersey tracks trends in etiquette, gift-giving, home trends, and pop culture, and provides an annual national barometer of how Americans incorporate manners and thoughtfulness into their own lives.

Is it really that hard for people to remember to say thank you or is just that we expect so much that thank you no longer seems necessary? I find it hard to believe that our lives have become so fast-paced that we can't take the time to extend a few courtesies or remember that our parents taught us some form of manners when we were growing up. As a child I can remember being told to always say "please" and "thank you" and I have taught my children the same thing. As I have told all three of them many times over, no one has to give you anything, they do it because they want to - but they might not want to if you don't take the time to express some gratitude.

This doesn't just apply to gifts but to every day life. If someone holds a door for me, I say thank you; if a driver lets me into a crowded line of traffic, I wave thanks; if one of my favorite EMTs brings me a much needed cup of coffee, I say thank you then, too. And for the record, I owe Miles more thanks than I can express for his continued thoughtfulness not only towards myself but to the others I work with in dispatch/scheduling! That's not to say that Miles is the only one who brings coffee (not by a long shot) but I want to set the record straight for those in the bay who think that he's sucking up to dispatch that just IS NOT the case. Miles gets no special favors from myself or anyone else for his thoughtfulness and generosity, I think he's just being a nice guy and there's nothing wrong with that in any society.

Why has it come to mean that someone is being a suck-up or trying to gain some special favor when they're just being nice? Why does there always have to be an ulterior motive behind someone's actions? When did we all become so suspect of people just being nice?? I would be willing to bet that Miles' parents taught him manners when he was growing up and there's nothing suspect in that - at least not as far as I'm concerned. Considering I'm old enough to be his mother, I would be proud to have Miles as my son.

At some point in history we became an overly cynical and critical society. We expect people to do things for us without thanks, we no longer say "hello" to strangers as we pass, we have forgotten what simple courtesy is, and unless some national tragedy hits we just don't give a rat's behind about our fellow man most of the time. Somewhere along the lines our priorities got all screwed up and I just don't understand it.

When I first started writing this entry today, it was not my intention to get up on a soapbox and preach about the shortcomings of our society but to simply say "thank you" to those of you who take the time to read my writings. I had the pleasure of meeting some of my "readership" this past weekend and it totally blew me away to have a total stranger walk up to me and say "I read your blog every day and I love it!". Wow. There is no way to describe how that made me feel, to know that I'm making someone else laugh a little bit or nod their head and say "yep, my kids do the same thing". It makes sitting down in front of the computer trying to think of what on earth to write about all worthwhile and I wanted to say thank you for reading and for your comments - I'm honored to be a part of your lives even in this small way.

As the Bard himself wrote, "I can no answer make but thanks and thanks and ever thanks." If you haven't said it lately - try it, I'm sure it will make someone's day that much better!

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:27 AM EDT

    Thanks..........Pennywise

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  2. Thank YOU for giving us "food for thought", Linda. You have a gift, and the best thing to do with any gift is to SHARE it. Oftentimes, people will do things just for the thanks, and not for the altruistic motives intended by selfless folks. You do NOT fall into this superficial category, so a sincere "thanks" to you, Linda!

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  3. If I didn't say it on Sunday...."Thank you". And you are absolutely correct..Miles is a genuine sweet guy, though he doesn't like to heat that!!
    Kathy

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  4. I have to agree with you, we have become such a society of selfish, lazy people that we condemn those who remember how to be a true good person. It's a shame that being polite and generous has been deemed "kissing butt" or "sucking up". Thank You Linda for always being aware of whats going on with your crews, their needs and safety and the tasks at hand. You're awesome!

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  5. I so agree with you! Manners are a dying thing. Saying "Please" and "thank you" seem to have been replaced with, "Yo" and a grunt.

    Oh yeah, Thank you for such thought provoking posts.

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