The Art of Saying Thank You
Monday, February 2, 2015
I was at Starbucks a few days ago, and I saw a lady sitting outside shivering. Let's call her Amy for the sake of this post. I had my drink in hand, and I offered Amy a hot chocolate. Her eyes lit up and she nodded her head without saying a word. I went back inside and bought the hot chocolate for this woman.
When I stepped foot outside in the cold again. I approached her and I handed her the hot chocolate. Amy looked at me, and then she looked at the warm drink in my hands. I could see her savoring the drink. I handed the drink to her and she quickly placed in on her lips to taste.
She suddenly stopped, not taking a sip just yet, and she looked at me intently. "Thank you so much", she said. "I always have a hard time saying thank you to people, but honestly this is easiest thank you I have ever said."
This really got me thinking. Is there such thing as an easy and hard thank you? What makes them easy, and what makes them difficult? I then reflected on the many times I avoided saying thank you to someone because of my pride.
When I used to live with my dad, I was a teenager of course, and I would constantly be angry at him because he wouldn't let me do certain things. Things that kids at school were allowed to do. I was never allowed to go to certain parties, and if I was allowed, he would have to meet the party holders parents. I used to be so embarrassed.
One time a boy I had a crush on, let's call him Chris, came to my house, and he was teaching me how to skate. When my father came home, he was so angry and yelled at me to get inside the house. He did not bother to make eye contact with Chris, the boy I had envisioned a possible boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with. I was equally as embarrassed, and I didn't understand why. He prohibited me from seeing Chris, and Chris was completely banned from our house.
Can you imagine my disbelief? I was so angry. This was the first boy I liked, that actually payed attention to me too. The next day in school I saw Chris kissing Ana, who happened to be one of my close friends. Shocking!
Fast forward a few years later and I am speaking with my mom on the phone about a few things I want to get off my chest. I open up to her, and all she does is tell me how I'm wrong. "You trust people too easily" she says. "I just don't want you getting hurt". I then remember why I never tell her anything. She worries way to much. Fast forward a few months later, and I go through my very first heartbreak. I have no one to lean on, but sure enough my mom is on the other end of the phone.
Fast forward a few months after and I am questioning my current situation. "Why did you allow this to happen to me God?" I ask. Angered with my past and with my present. "Why are you letting me feel so alone? I don't understand." A few days later I open my Bible, and I read this verse, "
Why is it so hard for us to understand the things our parents are teaching us. We often see it as an attack, but in reality they are merely guiding us. I see now that when my father prohibited Chris from entering our home, something I rooted as unfair, was actually his way of protecting my heart from a player. I see now that when my mother would tell me to be careful, it wasn't because she didn't trust me, but because she loves me and all she does is care for me. I see now that everything I endured as a child and as a teenager growing up, was only creating a stronger young woman who can depend solely on God.
Thank you. Thank you is all I want to say. I want to thank God because I know that through everything He was and still is watching over me. I want to thank my father because he obviously saw something that I didn't in this boy. I want to thank my mother because she cares for me more than any other person can. This used to be my hardest thank you, but now it has become so easy for me to say it.
I know that sometimes it is difficult to put our pride aside and admit that we were helped by another person. I know it is especially hard when the other person happens to be your mom or your dad. I used to feel like I knew more than my parents, but now I see that they actually knew more than I ever did. It must of been hard for them watching their daughter try to do things her own way, but I know that they are very happy with the young girl they have raised. Don't be quick to shrug off your parent's instruction, trust that they know more than we do.
Thank you, is such a beautiful phrase. It gives us a single moment of vulnerability. It allows us to put aside our pride and truly recognize that we don't always do things on our own. So, I can easily say that Amy taught me something very important that day right outside of Starbucks. It might be something small to her, but it brought me to my knees and it opened the door to true reflection. I hope you reflect on your life and on who you would like to say thank you to. Don't be ashamed to say it.