We all know what to do. For many children these are among the first words. Mommy taught us when we were barely able to talk:
“What do you say?”
These fundamental sentences are very often accompanied by the directive: “Share!”
As big, grown up, sophisticated adults, we go about our business not thinking most of the time to employ these fundamentals. We seem to think that it takes too much time, or that it really doesn’t fit with the OMG, WTF, LOL world. As we move about, we leave a trail of dust and resentment and a crumbling civilization in our wake.
I am not here today to play Ms Manners. I just want to suggest that we engage our hearts, our hands and our voices to do what we know is right. To ask instead of take, to share instead of grasp, to thank instead of ignore. Basic acknowledgement of others as fellow human beings together right here, right now.
When I was a manager of people, I distributed paychecks and thanked each person for their work. The reaction was mildly suspicious surprise. Guess that everyone wanted to be sure I was sincere. They kind of waited for a “punchline”. When they realized that it was real, you should have seen their faces! Everyone got a sense of pride and smiled. Sure, just payment for service rendered is a transaction. Saying “Thank you for your work!” is like putting the cherry on top of the sundae.
As miraculous as our lives are (and I do believe they are miraculous!) we are all here by the grace and care of others. God, family, friends, community. Today at dinner–no matter what you’re eating and who you are eating it with–make sure to remember what Mommy taught us. Love the folks that surround you, help those who need it without being asked, say thank you for the sheer miraculous nature of life. Put that cherry on top of the sundae, be grateful, live grateful and sing!
Now Thank We All Our God Martin Rinkart 1586-1649
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
Oh, may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And guard us through all ills in this world, till the next!
All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, Whom earth and Heav’n adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore