-Magic Words –
The magic words “Please”, “Thank you,” “Sorry” and “Excuse me” are magical when used appropriately. They show respect, appreciation and dignity. They also tend to soften one’s attitude and behavior in the face of incidences. As earlier mentioned, parents/guardians are the first teachers of good manners.
Little acts and expressions like greeting elders, saying “Thank you”, “Please”, “Excuse me”, requesting permission and rendering apologies should not elude our kids as they grow up. They must learn to treat everyone with kindness and respect. If they do not learn these good manners and polite ways early, they are less likely to pick it up later or they just may grow up as stubborn, proud and arrogant adults, who are full of themselves.
Words are very powerful. When persons form the habit of saying the magic words, “Thank you”, “Please” “Sorry”, “Excuse me”, “May I…?” etc, it gradually becomes second nature. A certain character and attitude is formed towards self, others and towards life itself. Such a one unavoidably develops a sense of personal humility, respect for others, an attitude of gratitude, politeness and eventually, the person stands out among others. To some arrogant and proud individuals, such a person may be viewed as stupid, foolish, weak or even someone to be despised and oppressed.
“Thank you”, “Please”, “Excuse me”, requesting permission and rendering apologies should not elude our kids as they grow up.
Say “Thank you” to a steward or waitress who brings you food, drink, a glass, or cutlery, each time. Do same when you get back your change. It is never too much to say a “Thank you”. I once met a missionary in a faraway land. This old simple-looking man had “thank you” at every other breadth of air he took in. I mean, he said “Thank you” so often that you would turn and just wonder. No, he wasn’t insane. Many years later, I still can’t forget the impact that encounter had on me.
…a sense of personal humility, respect for others,
an attitude of gratitude, politeness and eventually,
the person stands out among others.
Now, at moments when I struggle or try to decide whether to say a “Thank you” or not, I remember the ease with which that missionary priest said “Thank you” and I just blot it out. I think that it requires a constant conquering of self to be a “Thank-you” ‘say-er’.
Come to think of it, does it really cost anything to say a “Thank you” to another human being? It is simply an appreciation of the person for responding to your needs, even for services you pay for. If you bump into someone by any chance or you accidentally step on someone’s toe or if you hit someone, please say “Excuse me” or “Sorry.” If you are thanked, then say “You’re welcome”.
This scenario happens very often. You are a motorist. You are trying to do a reverse, or to come out of an entrance, or get into a major road. Cars continue passing like no one cares. Just then a fellow motorist decides to give you way, and stops. Do you just drive past like nothing happened? Why not wave a hand, say a thank you or show some very little sign of appreciation. Try not to take that kind gesture for granted, especially in a society where most motorists would rather drive past than give you way.
Etiquette can be learned as a way of personal development. As human beings living in a human society, we are challenged to continually improve ourselves. No one knows it all and no one has “arrived” or attained perfection yet. Just as this applies to our children, so too no adult is excluded.
Several nursery rhymes today remind us of five magic words: “Please”, “Sorry”, “Thank you”, “May I…” and “Excuse me”. Google and teach one of such rhymes to your child/children today.
To you, dear Reader, I say, “Thank you!”
– Linda Ellah