Thursday, May 29, 2014

Please, and Thank You

First, let me remind you that there are just two days left to my special VIP readers contest. I'm giving away two $10 gift certificates - but you are only eligible if you're a member of my private email list. Of course, you can always join... just send me a note at lisabet [at] lisabetsarai [dot] com and I'll get you set up. Then I'll tell you what you have to do to enter the drawing. (It's nothing onerous!) 

Anyway, one of the members of my VIP readers list, someone I've "known" for years, always signs her contest entries:

Please, and thank you.

I was thinking today about how lovely that is. I can picture her smiling when I read her closings. Her notes brim with warmth. And that makes me smile.

In our supersonic, high-tech world, civility sometimes gets lost. People are not deliberately impolite, most of the time. It's just that everyone is so busy, so overstressed and overstimulated. Modern life has become brusque and cold.

In the old days, we were comfortable taking a few moments just to chat, to relax and enjoy the pleasures of others' society. We wrote letters (remember letters? written on paper? with a pen?) that began with a salutation ("Dear Aunt Jennifer"), and ended with a closing ("Yours truly" or "With love"...)  And politeness was important, at least in my family. Politeness showed your respect for others. Acting polite also showed that you were "brought up" well, that you were comfortable observing the niceties, that you had "class".

I sometimes wonder what today's kids think about such notions. With text-speak and Twitterese taking over the language, do "please" and "thank you" sound weird and old-fashioned? When I text, I find I can't bring myself to leave out the formalities, even if I abbreviate them to "Pls" and "Thks".

Anyway, I personally value politeness, more than ever as it becomes more rare. And so I'll say to all of you who are reading this - please share it with your friends who might not realize how much a difference civility makes.

Thank you!


Colleen C. said...

I try to remind my little nephew to say please and thank you... get him in the habit while he is still young... :)

Lisabet Sarai said...

I do think that politeness is both a habit and also a state of mind.

If the people around you behave civilly to one another, you'll naturally pick it up.

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