Thank You Is So Much More Than Gratitude.

As a kid, whenever I took something from my parents, my dad especially, he would always ask me, “And what do you say?” Remembering my manners, I’d reply, thank you. My dad made sure I said this anytime I collected something from him or anyone, no matter how small I thought that thing to be. This went on for a while –my dad reminding me to thank him whenever he bought me things, took me to someplace I’ve been wanting to visit or did something for me– until it became an unconscious habit and I didn’t have to be reminded anymore.

Anytime I got something from someone, a friend or a stranger, I’d always say thank you, even without knowing it. I lend out a book to a person, the person returns it and I say thank you. I eat at a restaurant, the waiter comes to clear the table and I say thank you. I ask for something from someone, friend, sibling, stranger and they give it to me, I thank them. Someone goes out of their way (or not but it doesn’t matter) to make me happy or do something for me and unconsciously, I thank them. I didn’t realize how much saying thank you would mean to someone until the day I went to a cyber café to fill in my JAMB application.

My father dropped me off at a cyber café on a hot afternoon, telling me to call him as soon as I was done. Anxious and nervous, I walk into the crowded room where people were working, typing on computers, printing papers, photocopying sheets, and whatnot. Seeing that everyone was busy and being an introvert who didn’t know how to go about approaching people, I stood at a corner for a while, debating who looked nice enough to approach and who didn’t. Luckily for me, a light-skinned man, average height, approached me and asked me why I was there, saving me all the trouble of talking to someone. I told him what I’d come to do and he led me to a less busy lady. He told her to assist me with the application and then he walked off.

As soon as the girl was done assisting me in filling my application and printing out the papers, the man came back to us. I thanked the lady as she handed me the paper and turned towards the man, paid him and thanked him too (unconsciously). He looked stunned for a moment, like he’s never heard those words before, then he regained himself and asked me to repeat what I had said. “Thank you” I repeated and if I wasn’t observant enough, I’d have missed the glossy look behind his glasses when I said it. he gave me a brief nod, smiling weakly, and walked away.

I called my dad and told him I was done and he came to pick me. When he got there, he began talking to the man, whom I later found out was the manager of the cyber café. I didn’t tell my father about his reaction to my gratitude though but I soon realized why he had looked like that.

Hearing me say thank you made him feel appreciated, it made him feel like what he was doing, running that place, managing that place, was worth it. Everyone goes about their lives, requiring services from people, it’s a human thing. These people who offer these would want to feel appreciated and worth it at least once in a while; it doesn’t matter how insignificant you think a person’s job or service is.

It wouldn’t take any much of your time to thank someone for doing something for you, it doesn’t have to be grand, sometimes, all they need, is hear to it. The world is already distressing enough, a little thank you today, from you, could brighten someone’s world today.

Learn to say thank you, more often. Make it an unconscious habit if you can, be the reason someone smiles and acknowledges their worth. Saying thank you is so much more than just being grateful, you’re telling the other person they’re appreciated and that what they do is worth it.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to say thank you to someone today😘


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