Sorry and thank you

I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a couple of weeks. And when I saw this image from Indexed this morning, I figured it was a sign.

Jessica’s simple illustration communicates how shallow we are with our gratitude. We say “thank you” so many times during the course of a day — when someone opens a door for us, when someone serves us water, when someone picks up something off the floor — it’s almost an auto-response. Without a thought. Without a pause.

But when someone does something we truly should be grateful for, do we take the time to express our gratitude? And then is a simple lightweight “thanks” enough? And what about the people closest to us — the ones we take for granted — how often do we sincerely take the time to communicate our appreciation for all they do?

Same goes for apologies. It’s really easy to say “sorry” to strangers and acquaintances but so difficult to convey our heartfelt remorse to the ones we love the most. Why? Because of our inflated egos? Because it’s too hard to accept we were wrong? Because it’s too shameful? Because it means taking responsibility? Because it means we’re accepting what jerks we’ve been?

There can be a thousand reasons … but it just comes down to one thing — we don’t like acknowledging our failings. We don’t like being wrong.

They seem so simple, but these two words are the ones we use the least in our most-valued relationships. Saying them is easy. Feeling them requires selflessness and introspection. Realization and acceptance. Humility and frailty.

We shower others with these expressions, but leave the ones we cherish impoverished.

Don’t hold out on your loved ones. They won’t just “know” — these things need to be said, expressed, shown somehow. And most times, expensive gifts aren’t required to do the task.

A simple but sincere expression of emotion is enough.

Also posted on Writers Rising.




Filed under Personal

4 responses to “Sorry and thank you

  1. Tulika

    I admit I have to agree with you on this one. True enough, we do take our close ones for granted and forget to express when they make us happy; though more often than not, we articulate when they disappoint us. People will rarely remember what you did or what you didn’t, but they’ll always remember how you treated them!

  2. It is good to tell people when they are right, when they are wonderful, when they help.

    But if you dump gratitude on everyone for every tiny thing, it means very little.

    It’s like a person who tells every person they meet that they love them.

    YOu know by the sheer numbers that the sentiment is probably not true.

    However a person who tells you ‘I love you’ or ‘thank you’ when they truly mean it, that means something.

    But I’d much rather have you pay a kindness forward to another person than shower me with praise.


    Thanks for the article. 🙂

    Tirzah, The Grump, signing out.

    • I agree, Tirzah. Oft repeated, things lose their meaning…their value. But when expressed sincerely and genuinely at select times, they make a huge difference. As with many other things, going with either extreme (not expressing gratitude at all or overdoing it) is more harmful than helpful.

  3. I learnt to admit when I was wrong, a long time ago. It makes life so much easier. I know I’m only human and I make mistakes and sometimes unknowingly hurt someone’s feelings but I will always admit I’m wrong, if I truly believe I am.

    A lot of problems stem from trying to be right. I think, does it matter? Love’s more important rather than winning the argument as far as I’m concerned. And anything I write is just my opinion, I could easily be wrong – but I write about what is true for me.

    I love the illustration and you are so right. It is so important to take notice of the good things and the people we love. It’s really important to cherish each other and let them know. I don’t remember extravagant presents but I do remember people’s kindness and love. Excellent post! Glad to have met you. 🙂

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