When I was a tad, like most of us, I also heard the secret of the magic words which almost always works. ‘Please‘ and ‘Thank You‘ always on top of her list and I remember, mom would theatrically demonstrate to us how the toughest hearts could melt when you speak the words earnestly, humbly and not to forget politely.
She would often have us experiment with it around dad who usually liked to be in control.
“Dad, I needed ten dollars for the ice-cream, would you please give it to me now?” His expressions would change with the extra emphasis on the ‘please’ then the ‘now’ and added sweetness to the voice tonality as advised by mum. We would not only pocket the bucks but also get a pat on our backs when we turned to say, “Thank You Dad” in our syrupy voice and innocent looking eyes. But behind the fun and drama we genuinely felt gratitude for all the kindness and love our parents showed us.
Mom would often quote the words of William Arthur Ward, “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you? ”
We never missed the ‘thank-you’ prayer while eating our meals and so it has now become a part of us. It is difficult to be miserable and hopeless when you have things to be thankful for.
It is different these days; the magic words do not come to the children easily. Emily and Ethan, the teenage kids of Donna often skip the part of requesting and thanking their mother who single-handedly takes care of their needs. When asked, they say, we love her, isn’t that enough?
I feel it is because you love it is more important to acknowledge the affection you receive from others. Thanking is important to let them know that they are not taken for granted and their effort for you is recognized. ‘Please’ is an important word too because it gives some freedom to the other person and he gets the message that you honor his time. However, there should not be an expectation of the same when you are doing something for them because it is not about massaging the ego; it is more about the overwhelming gratitude and regard you feel within.
I remember on one of the ‘Thanksgiving Dinner’ my uncle narrated a fable to us. It was about a special kind of friendship between a little boy and a tree. The story goes like this. “There was a huge oak tree in the woods, a little boy used to play there, he would climb up and down the tree and the tree loved the chortles of this lad. He would then sleep in its shade and the tree would feel overwhelming love for him. As he grew up his visits became less and the tree asked him, “Why do you not play with me anymore?” and the boy replied, “I have to go to school and pay the fees and I need the money so I go in the morning for distributing the newspaper and in the evening I work in the store. The tree said, “Boy, don’t you worry, cut away a few branches of mine and sell them, you will have enough money and then come and play with me. The boy followed his instructions and enjoyed his time swinging and jumping around the oak tree with his friends.
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Time flew and he kept chopping off its branches for his survival. The tree was glad to have him around for this exchange. Soon, a time came when the boy wanted to marry the love of his life and settle down, he came to the tree and said, I want to build a home, the trunk was all that remained of the tree but he agreed to give it to him lovingly. The log was chopped off, nothing but a barren land remained.
Years, later the boy was visiting the land where his tree-friend lived. He sat there in the scorching heat of the sun and a tear dropped on the ground and a single word emerged like a prayer from the depth of his heart and it was, “Thanks”.
The magic word still works, feel it and say it. Happy Thanksgiving Month Friends!
Love & Joy,