Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Life is...?

I've been reading a lot of Mother Teresa's writing recently. I purchased a copy of Mother Teresa: No Greater Love at a second-hand bookshop, and although I didn't expect to, I love this book. I am only part way through it and already have so much underlined. The text above came from a greeting card I received for my birthday. If you'd like to read something a little deeper, from her book, you can find it at my other blog here

And this is from the back cover:

What we need is to love without getting tired.
How does a lamp burn?
Through the continuous input of small drops of oil.
What are these drops of oil in our lamps?
They are the small things of daily life:
small words of kindness
a thought for others
our way of being silent
of looking
of speaking
and of acting.
Do not look for Jesus away from yourselves.
He is not out there;
He is in you.
Keep your lamp burning,
and you will recognize Him.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Lost Art

The other day I was about to walk out of the bank, just as a man was approaching the door from the other side. I hesitated to open the heavy, glass door, hoping he would open it for me. But, no! He waited for me to open it for him! Well, I was in a hurry, so I did. He walked through and headed for the teller without even so much as a 'thank you'!

Now, not to mention that I am a woman, and I have also just officially become a 'senior,' and that under those circumstances he (a much younger man) should have opened the door for me -- it reminded me that saying 'thank you' is becoming a lost art.

Do you remember when sales clerks would thank the customer for their purchases? Not any more. When I walk out of the supermarket, I say "Thank-you" even though I pack my own grocery bags! But I don't very often even get a "You're welcome!"

The only time the bank thanks me these days, is in a preface to a letter encouraging me to go further into debt by taking advantage of great interest rates!

It was a pleasant surprise when my daughter and I had a meal at Kelsey's recently, and the young waiter gave us a hand-written note along with the bill saying, "It was great to have you with us at Kelsey's this evening!" but suspicious me was pretty sure that all the waiters/waitresses probably did the same thing with each of their customers....and was it a timely ploy to solicit a more profitable gratuity?

I raised my children with manners. They were always taught to "...mind your Ps and Qs" -- ("PleaSe" and "thank-Q"). It's a lesson that sticks. It may be habit, but it's a good habit! Saying "thanks" is such a little thing, but it makes the giver look good and the receiver feel good.

Here are a few tips on how to say "thank you":

Be sincere: don't make saying "thank you" sound routine - say it with heartfelt feeling.

Don't mumble: don't act as if you are ashamed of the phrase. This only serves to cheapen its value.

Thank people by name: if there are several people to be thanked, don't just say, "Thanks, everybody." Name each one of them.

Thank people when they least expect it: a thank you is even more powerful when the other person doesn't expect it. It's among life's most pleasurable surprises.

Find a way of saying "thank you" without using words: the gesture doesn't have to be large or expensive to be noticed.

There are so many other ways of showing gratitude to someone: a kindly worded note or card, a little gift, a phone call, an e-card, a favour in return, a certificate of appreciation for work well done, flowers - chocolates!

I'm grateful that my children are teaching their children to mind their Ps and Qs -- and grandma will always be there to reinforce the lesson.

...for reading my blog today!