Two Powerful Words

When I was growing up, Mom and Dad taught us manners, how to eat with both fine china and crystal as well as casual plates.  They gave us integrity and being honest as well as doing the right things whether anyone was watching or not.  I remember stealing a small box of mints and getting away with it.  But I couldn’t eat them and ended up throwing away because I had such a guilty conscience about it.  Needless to say, I never stole anything again.  They taught us to be polite, to say Please and Thank You – the last two words are very powerful.

Thank You

A lot of people say Thank You For Your Service to military personnel – not something that has happened in the past.  My friend’s husband was a Marine in the Korean War – when he came home, there weren’t a lot of Thank You’s for him.  What’s interesting now is when he is somewhere and people see he is a Marine (once a Marine, always a Marine) they will say Thank You For Your Service. The first few times it happened, he was so surprised and amazed.  I have a feeling it still surprises and pleases him.  Can you imagine how it feels for a Vietnam veteran to hear those words?

I have been going up to a police officer when ever I see one and thank them for being out there and I appreciate what they do.  Talk about a stunned expression!  One woman cop gave me a hug.  Eddie and I watch Cops on tv and see what the officers have to deal with – not too often does someone say Thank You or be friendly.  I will admit it took me a while to work up the courage to go over to a cop – I would see them in a coffee shop taking a break – four officers together was a little intimidating in the beginning, now I love to see the stunned smiles on their faces.  That are very grateful to find there are people who appreciated what they do every day.  They deserve it!!!!!


Whenever I am somewhere, doing something, I find the Thank You comes out without thinking.  The waiter brings water, brings my meal, clears the plate, etc., I say Thank You each time.  In my day days when I would occasionally drink and didn’t know much about it, I would ask the waiter about it.  I didn’t try to bluff my way through, they can spot that in a second.  I would say “I had never had it before, what would you recommend?”  They were always very helpful and I appreciated their help and would thank them.

When I go into the Ladies and someone is cleaning, I would tell them how nice it is to come to a clean restroom and thank them.   More stunned looks.  Or when someone opens the door for me, I say Thank You.  The one that confuses men is when I open the door for them and say “You should have some benefit from Women’s Lib”.  Another instance that leaves people speechless is when I see a well dressed family and I stop them to tell them they have a great looking family.  They finally get out a Thank You and they are smiling.  Or I see a well dressed woman, I will compliment her.  When she is wearing a color I love, I will say “You’re wearing my favorite color” – though I may not be wearing that particular day.

I have been places and have complimented someone and the response is”I really needed to hear that today”.  That’s a double win for both of us.  I know I have felt the same way when I am on the receiving end.  There is a tendency to think the speaker at the event has it all together, but not always.  I was at Women’s Business Exchange one breakfast and I happened to be in the Ladies at the same time as the speaker.  She was having a little trouble with her throat, so I suggested drinking something warm or hot to help expand things – cold would just contract.  She was very appreciative and thanked me.

In the beginning of our marriage, Eddie and I started saying Thank You to each other for what may seem small things.  Eddie gets the credit for starting it and I am glad we have continued to do it for each other for the last 47 years of our marriage.  I thank him for cooking, he thanks me for doing the dishes; he thanks me for working with him on his Kaplanian Report, I thank him for pulling off my compression socks; etc.  It doesn’t matter how big or small, knowing it is appreciated is what is important.

Thank You’s and compliments go a long way to let people know you appreciate what they do, it’s amazing how many situations people tend to be oblivious to the people around them – as if they are a piece of furniture.  Sometimes life becomes a bit too impersonal – time to stop, notice, say Thank You and smell the roses.thank-you 2

And a huge THANK YOU (not a shout) to the Greater Power, whatever you name for It, Him or Her.   An ever-present Spirit to all of us, whether we know or acknowledge it or not.  When you say Thank You for everything, more will come to you – even those difficult and uncomfortable things and situations.  I just learned they are messages to us, we just haven’t heard or understood them yet.

How many times have you thanked someone and what was their response?  I would love to know about them, so please contact me and tell me what happened.

2 Responses to “Two Powerful Words”

  1. Charlotte Trayer Says:

    Hi Liz! I enjoyed your post–you made some really good points. Saying thank you seems like such a small thing, and takes no more than a few seconds, but can certainly mean a lot!

    When I’m at the fairgrounds judging cooking or sewing, and I see someone sweeping up outside, or cleaning in the restroom, I always say thank you. Usually they are quite surprised, although sometimes it’s the same person I thanked a couple of days ago, or the year before, so they recognize me!

    Our favorite grocery store closed the end of Feb. The last day I went there to shop, one of the clerks approached me and thanked me for being such a faithful, regular customer over the years. That meant a lot!!

    And just last night we were at Dairy Queen for supper; we were just sitting down after ordering, and the gal came out with an ice cream cone for Ron–said it was from the manager, to thank him for his service (Ron had on his cap with the USMC emblem). Ron was surprised and pleased! Actually, they did this once before when we were at the same DQ. I’m not sure if it’s DQ, or the manager himself who has decided to do this, but it’s very thoughtful.

    Hope you had a nice wedding anniversary! Our turn is this week! love, Char

    • Lee Kaplanian Says:

      It does seem odd to people when they are given a Thank You. This afternoon I opened a door for the woman behind me – her comment was “Are you kidding?” I told her I was brought up to be polite and courteous. She suggested maybe she should have opened the door for me – because I’m older? I just told her I was at the door first. It is obvious kids are not being taught manners very much these days – what a loss for them.

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