One of the first lessons we learn regarding manners is the one-two combination of saying please and following it with thank you. It’s an early lesson – right when the vocabulary starts and the reaching begins. Of course, that’s just the language of it all. The meaning, the meat behind the words, that comes later. Gratitude is more than saying thank you, it’s expressing the appreciation that you feel.
There is someone in my life who should know this, and at one time must have known this. But she no longer does. No longer recognizes and no longer expresses. And that hurts. It may sound like something trivial to write about, as if I’m whining because I have not heard thank you when I wanted to. But that’s not it. With recognition and appreciation, with just that, we can do so much. It’s fuel for us to continue. It makes us feel that we belong, that we have value. Without it, the gestures become work, the attitude resentment. What slays me is not so much that gratitude isn’t expressed, but my efforts are not recognized. And not only mine. A certain someone is doling out a lot of pain with failure to recognize what many of us do for her. I want to remind her of the basics: Say please, and say thank you. Isn't that what you taught me, way back when?