411 Focus

I didn't consider what a challenge it was to simply say, "Thank you," until ...

Contributed By:Dorothy Nevils maslivend@sbcglobal.net

A gift returned

“Thanks” is a really, really hard word to say. It starts somewhere in the body and attempts to make its way to the outside, a difficult trip for the person on the front end.

Often an expression of gratitude is a kind of battle, like a tug of war with someone on the other end of the rope a worthy opponent. Saying the word seems really, really easy for other folks, especially for the one to whom the thanks is due. After all, the hard part has been done by the one standing there waiting to hear that expression of gratitude. However, let’s take a look at this from the perspective of a former teacher, incidentally, a speech teacher.

I didn’t consider what a challenge it was to simply say, “Thank you,” until my high school English teacher died. I didn’t see the need to say thanks when I was in her class. It was obvious that I appreciated her. She was a perfectionist in the classroom, and when other students grumbled, I worked toward perfection. I wanted to be perfect in everything, just as she was. Of course, I didn’t have her style, her beautiful smile, her voice, which made high school boys idolize her, even as they accumulated failing grades in her neat grade book.

When I made trips home, I made sure I saw her as she aged, even visiting her when she became too fragile to live by herself. She knew I loved her, and she knew I appreciated everything. However, as in so many cases, actually saying the word is awkward. The mouth just doesn’t want to go through everything involved.

Saying that word is almost a full day’s work. First, you have to park your tongue in a most dangerous place of a mouth, right between the teeth! If it could, it would protest right off the bat! But, alas, it’s trapped right there; all forward – or backward, for that matter – movement arrested… and air that wants out is trapped!

The cheeks attempt to puff out in protest, but are stopped right where they are. But the air must out! There can be no thanks without a bit of air! And the teeth aren’t helping. They just sit there on top of the tongue like a newly snapped mousetrap on a rodent, lured with the smell of cheese.

Finally, the teeth, unlike the mousetrap, release the tongue and free the air… but not completely. The throat closes as if to call it back, then gives up; the tongue relaxes, and, hissing a bit, the air moves over the tongue, and out...

You must admit… that was difficult, almost difficult enough to keep anyone from tackling that word. However, if we are to be complete humans, we need to say that word. As difficult as it may be for us, it does so much for others.

And, we need to teach our children to use that word – often – while others can hear it, for it’s a motivator, causing those who hear it to continue to be blessings to others… and that continues, so that our children pick up the habit…

Thanks = appreciation, and appreciation impacts others like a cool breeze on a hot day… sunshine after a day of rain.

If another makes life better for you, no matter how small the difference, acknowledge that gift. Don’t wait to tell the family.

Story Posted:01/27/2018

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