The other day my friend was leading a group of friends down a stairwell that leads into a restaurant. As she descended, she noticed that people were coming up the stairs to leave the restaurant. Because it was a narrow stairway, she had her group back up and make way for the others. Not one of them said thank you, nodded in appreciation, or even made eye contact with her.
When strangers do us a good deed—no matter how minor—it’s common courtesy to acknowledge that kindness by thanking them, or even just offering a smile or appreciative nod. Someone lets you go ahead of them in line, moves out of your way, gives you directions, tells you the time, or holds the elevator. Do you just charge ahead? No. The rules of civility demand that you offer some sort of gratitude. How hard is it to thank someone?
One day I was out shopping when a man came up and asked for directions to a particular street. I had my iPhone with me, so I took the time to look up the address for him. He then ran off without so much as thanking me. I don’t regret offering him help, but I wish he had treated me with more respect. I can only hope that he at least returns the favor if someone in need should ever approach him.
A thank you, a smile, nod…it literally takes seconds. Be grateful! Don’t take these kindnesses for granted.