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Saying Thank you!

October 15th, 2007

In a small city of Walnut where I live with population 30,000, there is not a whole lot to get excited about. So the annual Walnut Family Festival was a great affair for everyone to get involved with the community. It was complete with a 5K and 10K run, pancake breakfast, parade, games, live bands, booths, and food. It’s also a good time to corner your City Council members to make sure they hear your side on the issues.

There was an important lesson that was learned today at the fair.

My 12-year-old daughter elatedly related to me her experience at the Staples booth. When the lady at the booth gave her a free folder, my daughter politely replied, “Thank you.” The lady handed her another folder and said, “Wow, you’re the only one who said ‘Thank you’! I’ll give you another folder.”

It is incredible to me that hundreds of people took a free gift without saying ‘thank you’! What has our society come to?

As with all values that we want to teach our children, the best way for them to learn them is if they see us as parents modeling them.

Do our children see us saying ‘Please’ and Thank you’ to those who serve us? Do they hear us using kind words even to strangers? Is courtesy something that we practice in our lives, with or without our children watching?

I always try to make a point of thanking the bagger at the market, the crossing guard at the school, the gardener, the waitress, etc. A kind word should be expressed even to those who are paid to do the job. It doesn’t cost us any extra to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, does it?

I read an Agatha Christie murder mystery novel where the murderer impersonated a waitress to get away from the scene of the crime. She knew she would not be noticed because after all, she figured no one paid attention to people like waitresses. This is all too true. We barely glance at what the gardener or the janitor look like. That says something of our values that we are passing along to our children.

Amy received a reward for merely expressing a common courtesy. Let’s not have common courtesy become such a rarity.

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  1. […] Say “ thank you ” with hearty sincerity to the people who serve you . Instead of a mumbled […]


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