I hope everyone had a phenomenal weekend. Mine was filled with showings, family time, and more eating than a girl my size should ever do. My family and I were sitting out on the back deck over the weekend and we made a tiny observation on how few people are truly succeeding in life. Excelling! Not just getting by. While I see myself as one who is barely scraping by the skin of her teeth as far as finances go (I am making a comeback though, rest assured), I am succeeding in my business as well as my personal life. People ask me every now and then how I can be so young and yet so accomplished. It’s simple really: I say “please” and “thank you.”
When I was a kid, my mother and father would remind me to always say “please” and “thank you.” Sometimes they would give me a quick swat on my behind or the back of my head if I accepted a gift or a favor without saying “thank you” afterwards. Because of their diligence in raising me, I now have the encompassing compulsion to say “thank you”, even to the smallest favors. A few weeks ago, I was in the art gallery of a local artist, helping run auditions for James and the Giant Peach for the Playhouse. She offered me a glass of wine to sip in between running scripts back and forth, a genuinely nice gesture, especially since I was having to work with kids after a long day at the office. At the end of the night, I was walking out to my car and I realized that I had not said “thank you.” I ran back inside and Christina, the owner of the gallery, looked at me like I was a crazy person, or had at least forgotten something. But I simply panted, “I just wanted to say thanks for the wine. It was awesome of you. My mama would just have my butt if she knew I didn’t say thanks. I really mean it.” She smiled at me and waved it off, saying it was nothing but the gesture meant a lot and for that, I am thanking her in an additional way.
I am going to have more info for the gallery with a formal We Are Lancaster post, but this is a start: Chastain’s Studio Lofts website. Also, Christina is the artist behind my gorgeous Charleston painting in the living room.
Here’s a dose of the truth: these two phrases “please” and “thank you” are so effortless to say but more times than not, I watch people omit them on a daily basis. It’s sad. I will open doors for people and they walk by without so much as a nod. People will demand, not ask that I do something for them without even uttering please. I am a giver, there are a ton of givers in this world. But if I continue to give and do for you and I don’t hear please and thank you, I will shut down and begin to stop wanting to help, wanting to give. Not to say that the demand is harsh by any means but without a please before, it comes off as a demand. I am sure this sentiment is shared with many of you who are reading right now. Sometimes to make the world a better place, to advance your position in life, to make a positive affect on another person begins with just the basics. “Please” and “thank you” are great ways to start. Then showing your thankfulness by paying back the favor in some way, maybe not the equivalent gesture, but something that says “You went above and beyond for me, here’s something to show my appreciation,” is nice. If you simply practice thankfulness each day, I think you will find that the things you are thankful for will begin to grow exponentially. People are just more likely to give to and help out those who are truly appreciative, as opposed to those who feel obligated to receive.
Have you also noticed a down turn in simple etiquette? What do you do to make the world just a more pleasant place to live?