In my last post I shared that you can love people and change the world with something that costs you nothing – a smile. It’s a great place to start.
Let’s take that next step and do something we learned as children but, over the years, have simply forgotten.
I’m talking about Please and Thank You.
How is saying these three little words showing love?
Please and Thank You are not simply social niceties. Please and Thank You are words that bookend interactions with love.
Please lets the person you are interacting with know they have a choice in how they treat you, that you are aware of that fact. They could be kind to you or they could not, and you are asking them to be kind.
Thank You acknowledges that you noticed their effort and you are grateful.
Please and Thank You empower the other person. You are acknowledging their ability to make or break your connection. You are choosing to honor them and their potential effect on you in this situation.
In the wider area of society in general, Please and Thank You could go a long way toward correcting entitlement attitudes.
Imagine you are in a grocery store and the cashier asks if you’d like your milk in a sack. “Yes, please,” you reply. In a subtle way the cashier knows that if they do put your milk in a sack they will be helping you out. Adding Please makes them much more willing to help you than if you’d simply said “Yes” which can sound more like a demand. People respond better when given a choice rather than a command.
On a slightly selfish note, you may not care one dime about the cashier’s well-being, but you do care about your own. If you treat someone with respect they are more likely to treat you with respect. Simply adding these three words to your interaction can benefit you greatly.
Please and Thank You are words of love because they focus on the other person’s actions and not our own, and any time we put another’s needs ahead of our own, THAT’S Love.
Creating Systems for Courageous Kindness
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