Friday, August 13, 2010

Whatever Happened To...

Thank you? No, really. Thank you.

Where has it gone?

A simple two word phrase that shows appreciation for an act, thought, and/or object done for or to another person.

Go ahead. Say it. How long did that take? Maybe a second?

So why is it so hard to say? Are we that self-conscious or withdrawn into our shell of indifference that we cannot express the simplest phrase of appreciation? Hell, you can even say "thanks" and cut it in half, yet we still don't say it.

I write about this because I had the opportunity to perform an act of kindness today, and I took it. I held the door open for someone that had their hands full and would have either dropped the baby they were holding or the food they had just received. Because of my unselfish act, this person was able to exit a building without injuring the fruit of their loins or their fruit. As I moved aside to let them pass with my outstretched arm holding back a steel and glass weapon of impending doom, I must admit I fully expected a voiced acknowledgment about the ease of movement I personally provided. But no. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Not even a head nod or eye contact to offer a gleaning of thanks.

Now, I wish I could say the person had an exposed femur or the baby was sucking on its own eyeball to necessitate such a hurried and quiet escape, but no such luck. The kid was quiet, the lady was quiet, and the well-oiled door was quiet. I even gave them an additional two seconds to perhaps throw back the "I'm sorry I've got a lot of other things on my mind" thanks, but that didn't happen either. So I did what any self-respecting individual would do in light of such a transgression. I yelled, "You're welcome!" after them.

The lady turned and gave me a look of confusion, as if she didn't understand the scene that had taken place between us. "You know, for the door," I replied. She then just turned and walked on.

Okay, maybe I'm an ass for expecting a thank you and for making a big deal out of something that is relatively trivial in the grand scheme of things. BUT...MAYBE I'M NOT. Maybe, the grand scheme of things is to show appreciation to our fellow members of society and reach out to those in our community and beyond to continually reinforce those ideals of kindness, generosity, and community. Maybe, in the grand scheme of things, the more we show thanks and appreciation to those that come into and affect our lives for the better, however briefly, the more we come to appreciate our own lives and the blessings we've been afforded. Then again, maybe not. But I will BET that lady says "thank you" or even its pronoun-challenged cousin "thanks" to the next person that holds open a door for her.

Thank you for reading this blog. I sincerely appreciate it.

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