What Happened to Thank You?

Posted: December 21, 2009 in 1

Two words have pretty much disappeared from our vocabulary. They generally appear after receiving a gift or a token of somebody’s appreciation. In light of a conversation I had recently, I have begun to detect their absence.

While the world runs amok, with violence escalating and the economy dissolving, appreciation for even the smallest things seems to be lost. So you might think people would be grateful for the gifts they receive.

But no.

Maybe they take for granted, especially around the holidays, that gifts will be given to them, but really? Not even a thank you?

And yet…

Are we supposed to EXPECT a thank you? After all, we didn’t GIVE with expectations of hearing those two magic words, did we?

I can’t help but wonder what goes through the mind of people who receive  gifts. “Well, it’s It’s about time she gave me something.” Or maybe they’re thinking, “I deserve this, so I don’t have to say thank you.”

I don’t get it. In the old days (wow, never thought I would resort to using those words), people appreciated receiving gifts from family and friends. The recipients of those gifts sent thank you notes or gave gifts of appreciation in return. They called the givers of those gifts on the phone and gave heartfelt thanks for receiving the gifts.

Today it seems that only a handful of people genuinely care about the gifts they receive – and the people who give them.

Is NOT saying thank you a sign of the times? Is the world filled with ungrateful people who expect to receive gifts without any acknowledgment of having received them?

i don’t think so. I think that people are living in a world where, as I mentioned above, financial problems and economic depression have consumed us to the point where we lose ourselves in our problems. At the time we open the gift we remind ourselves to thank the giver, but by the time we leave, we are distracted with the chaos of family gatherings, children requiring our time, babies demanding diaper changes, hosts calling out to the guests to make themselves plates and reminding everybody to search the house for items they may have left behind.

When we hug everybody goodbye, we should remember to thank them for the gifts, and maybe we thought we did, but if there is the slightest possibility that we forgot, it might be nice to call or write, or even email to ask, “Did I thank you for your gift? Did I tell you how much I appreciated you giving it to me?”

I would never alter the way I give gifts as a result of not receiving thanks for giving them, because giving was my pleasure, and honestly, it wasn’t until somebody brought to my attention that “thank you” was disappearing that I even noticed its absence. But I do think it’s time we paid more attention to gratitude.

Did you remember to say, “thank you”?


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