Recently, i’ve been thinking a lot about ‘thank you’. We don’t say it often enough and even when we do, we often use it as a brace around frustration. A bad habit for sure and one that i have found myself taking part in. It is embarrassing and not becoming of anyone. We set high standards for those around us, yet we demand more of them than we do of ourselves.
Thank you is an art best when practiced; like painting or woodwork. I expect my first few months to be messy at best. Probably a bit over-zealous in the beginning, as i tend to jump into things feet first and then flounder about until i find my footing. Hopefully that will not make future attempts appear fictitious.
Kay sent me a lovely note with my calendar. I keep it tacked up in a trunk with my other papers, so i see it often:
Short, to the point and personal without being too much.
If we cannot learn how and when to say Thank You, maybe we could at least learn the find art of constructive criticism? OSU has a short, well written article on constructive criticism that i think i might rewrite in a fancy font and give as framed gifts.
I’ve been thinking about all of this as i watch the hard work being doing to help Kristi and Jigs, as Jigs is quite ill and Lori and Joe after Joe’s terrible motorcycle accident. It is amazing to see community gather, even among almost strangers. Then i watch how we treat each other, when people give of their time to committees and groups concentrated on a common purpose, rather than a common person and i wonder how we can so quickly loose track of who we are. While those of give of their time are often not blameless in the poor level of discourse, who can blame them for being short? If such a volunteer assumes when asking a question that they will loose their head for doing so, that is a statement about us not them. Fault lies on both sides, but when we forget our humanity or at least our manners, we cannot be surprised when those who will stand up for office are not those we’d choose first. Thankfully, many of those who do still stand up, do so for reasons that are almost impossible to guess.
Recently, i had dinner with a person who is considering a bid to obtain a seat on such a committee. My response was both honest and embarrassing.
“You seem like a perfectly nice person. Why would you turn yourself into a target on purpose?”
And i think about Kay’s classy note. I have practiced Yoga, dance, cooking, mechanics… time for something new.