Friday, March 14, 2014
How many times a day do you say “thank you?” You thank the barista who hands you a morning coffee, the waiter and busperson, the parking lot guy, the woman who holds the elevator for you, and you hand-signal a thanks to the driver who lets you cut in.
By doing so, you establish a momentary relationship. You, the thank-giver, and the other person, the thank-recipient, have done something together that benefitted both parties--one gave, the other took, with gratitude--and was promptly forgotten. For a brief moment, the two of you reverted to an earlier age when the culture of thanking was well-established, at least among peers.
Thanking now is largely automatic. If it’s accompanied by a smile, we might smile back, or not. We’ll note a lack of manners when letting someone cut in line doesn’t elicit the basic thanks…
Me, I’ve always been fascinated by the phrase, “Thank God.”
Thank God? Why? Does God need our thanks for moving, as he/she/it does, in mysterious ways? More to the point, will God get pissed off if we don’t thank him/she/it for whatever we think he thinks (not a typo) we should thank him for (if he does, which I doubt), and anyway, how are we supposed to know what to thank him for in the first place. Think about this long enough and you’ll get a migraine. Suddenly, thanking becomes a massively complex undertaking.
And what if God suddenly realizes we’re just hypocrites (which, being an all-knowing God, he/she/it was aware of all along) giving thanks simply to cover out asses, because really, are we sure about thanking a Higher Power for all the strange stuff going on? What about Aunt Myrtle’s cancer, or Uncle Jim’s gout? Should we be thankful we don’t have the same afflictions? And doesn’t that make us really crappy people, thinking thoughts like that?
So I don’t have any answers. I seldom do. But I welcome other people’s thoughts.