No matter your mood, no matter the place, no matter who you’re speaking to, you should always be saying these words.
It happens everywhere I go. I’ll be standing in line at the grocery store, rolling though the drive-thru at a fast food joint, or squeezing in at the bar, and someone will bark out their demands, receive service, then walk away, tight-lipped, acting as if they had just been greatly inconvenienced. No “please” when they ask for something. No “thank you” when they get it. I’m fucking sick of it.
I was raised to always say “please” and “thank you,” and I’m sure most people got that lesson at some point in their life—either from their parents, or a shitty picture book, or Mr. goddamn Rogers. But for whatever reason, people forget it when they get older. Somehow their training in the most basic of human pleasantries fails them and they begin to act like rude, entitled scum.
Sure, sometimes you get rushed or distracted and you don’t have the time or mental capacity to utter out those words, but most of the time you do. You know you do. It takes, at most, about two seconds to say both “please” and “thank you,” and it literally costs you nothing. All you need is the air to expel those simple niceties from your mouth, so just say it! Always. And by always, I mean EVERY SINGLE TIME anything involves another person helping you out.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re having the, like, worst day ever.
- It doesn’t matter if what they’re doing is the job they get paid to do.
- It doesn’t matter if what they’re doing is easy.
- It doesn’t matter if they are being rude while they help you.
People don’t need to deserve you having manners. You should just have them. You’re not above being kind because you’ve opened your wallet. You’re not above treating people with respect because things aren’t going your way. You’re not above anybody.
People like you more when you’re nice just because, and they respect it too, but there are also much bigger things at play here. Being a kind and courteous person can turn somebody’s entire day around. And that can lead to even more kindness and positive experiences down the line for someone else. It spreads like the only virus you want to catch. Saying “please” and “thank you” is really all about empathy when you break it all down. Those simple words are the most basic form of expressing that important and powerful notion.
So please, I’m begging you, say these words as much as you can. There’s nothing cool, or tough, or special about not saying them. Show some empathy, be kind just because, and try to break the chain of people being shitty to each other. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it might make a bigger difference than you realize. Thank you.