The Lost Art of Thank You

5 Apr

As soon as I could write the alphabet, I remember my mom sitting me down at the kitchen table to write thank you letters to relatives for any Christmas or birthday gifts they gave me. It didn’t matter that all I could scribble at that age was “thank you” and my name and that it took me twenty-five minutes to get that much down on paper. It was important to her. She felt that if people took the time to shop and send a gift, I needed to express my appreciation and she modeled that for me.

I know we live in a hectic world where people are harried and over-scheduled but lately I’ve noticed a trend. People not only don’t have the time to write thank you notes, they often don’t say thank you anymore either. On two occasions recently, I’ve given gifts for individuals that didn’t even acknowledge my gifts. While I don’t know why this is the case, it kind of rubs me the wrong way.

Typically, I give people the benefit of the doubt on these things. But in our ever-increasing entitled world, I’ve noticed people expect more and more on a materialistic level. When I see this type of “demand” from certain individuals, I frankly stop giving. Why the other day, I saw on the news that an “A” student shot her mother because her mother wouldn’t buy her the car she wanted. Now, albeit that case is entitlement on crack and I’m sure there were many other factors involved – but you get my point. We live in a society where we come to expect things without realizing just how lucky we really are to have what we do.

Now I’m just as guilty. While I might diligently write thank you letters, there are times when I “demand” of my Maker without acknowledging a single thanks for what he has provided me. I bemoan what I don’t have without pause for the tremendous gifts he has bestowed. Now that is ingratitude, particularly when I have so much: friends, health, hobbies, food, clothing, shelter.

Part of Eve’s fall came from longing after the one thing she didn’t have. She wanted that damn shiny apple while failing to realize she was living in frick’n paradise. She was in Eden for goodness sake. She had it all – but it wasn’t enough. Oh, we are fallen creatures.

So may I pause and say, thank you. You have given me so much.

One Response to “The Lost Art of Thank You”

  1. Greg Olmen April 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    First of all, thank you God for Lise…
    Secondly, you’re welcome Lise
    Lastly, I am pretty sure Adam said Thank You when “that women (He) gave me” offered him his bite:)

    Funny that this is your entry this morning…it drives me crazy when people are rude to wait staff people. I understand that is their job, but come on man! I know we think we own them because of the tips we leave, but here is a tip for all of us; we don’t! And we are measured by our Father as we do onto the “least of these”…so if this is you, check the box that says “epic fail” and ask for your repentance on the side, with no ice, and 200 degree soy fat-free latte. I’ll be here all night, try the veal, and tip your waiter with more then your loose change, tip them with your smile and a Thank You!

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