A Sincere "thank you" will do — and other things your mother taught you

Thank You
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say “thank you”? – William Arthur Ward

Whatever happened to “please” and “thank you?”  When did you last  hear — or say — the words, “pardon me;” “Excuse me,” “Yes” (instead of “yup” or “whatever”)? Where are the Momisms from long ago?  Why can’t our techie toys — whether online, SEO or cyber-communication — include some niceties? Where are our personal AND business manners?

In the March 22, 2010 issue of Fortune, Becky Quick writes, “Most of us learn in kindergarten that when you hurt someone, you say you’re sorry.  But captains of industry seem to have forgotten the rules of common decency.  Lack of remorse may be good (temporarily) for a company’s bottom line, but it isn’t good for society.  The strength of the global economy depends on people’s willingness to trust institutions, and institutions’ ability to trust one another.”

Have we forgotten what we learned in kindergarten?  Are parents still teaching Momisms or do the kids of today only hear, “Good job!”?   Remember when kids heard phrases like:

  • “A stitch in time saves nine”
  • “If you open it, close it”
  • “Think before you talk”
  • Always be respectful – address your elders with, “Yes, ma’am,”  “‘no, Sir'”
  • Say, “thank you” anytime – to anyone – doing something nice for you

We had the opportunity to travel South Africa and Victoria Falls – taking the Blue Train from Pretoria to Cape Town.  Every single person serving us in any way would say ‘thank you’ as they were performing the task.  Finally I asked a waiter why he said, “ thank you”  as he placed my plate on the table instead of waiting until I said “thank you” and wait for the normally reply of, “You are welcome”.  He looked at me with surprise and said, “Because it is my pleasure to serve you.” Ummmmmm – How welcoming is that?!

I wonder …

  • Have men stopped opening the doors for women because women stopped saying, “Thank You”?
  • Are we in such a rush to make a sale that we don’t take the time to know the wants and needs of the customer?
  • Is life moving so swiftly that the act of human kindness of acknowledging, respecting and valuing another person escapes us?

What do you think?