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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Instant Thanks

I'm delaying "Lest we Remember" because this one really needs to come first. Shows how much I know about what I'm thinking before I think it.

In my brave new world of not keeping score, there is a risk that I might unwittingly take what other people do for granted. It's happened before. At one time, I might have received a gift or a nice message from someone, even a good turn, and thought, next time I have the opportunity, I'll do something nice for that person. It might be two or three weeks, months, or years later that I think of it again, usually by that time in terms of "I owe that person a letter, good word, random act of kindness."

Well, understanding that you are acting out of the kindness of your heart means that I don't owe you. That would belittle what you have done as I carry around a burden of debt for your good turn. Ultimately, I might start to wish that you hadn't come over to help me move furniture because now I have to give you a lift to the airport. That's a lousy way to live--wishing people weren't kind to me.

So, I am instituting a policy of instant thanks. I doesn't mean that I am going to attempt to "repay" you for your kindness, but that I am not going to wait until an opportune time to express my thanks. And like my policy of not calling people names, you may never know that I have thanked you. If you slow down to let me into your lane so I can make my exit, you may not know that I have thanked you. But I will know. It will be a reminder to me about how great it is when people are caring and polite. I will also want to be caring and polite. I might not be able to let every person in front of me squeezing from left to right because that would be unfair to the people in my lane who are lined up behind me. Remember, I'll give you whatever you need as long as it doesn't harm myself or others. So, I may let one or two cars in, but the third will have to wait until the next polite driver slows.

And I will know that you also have given me your instant thanks--thanks that I never hear or see.

Lest I take the kindness that is shown to me for granted, I shall give instant thanks. I will carry my gratitude proudly, rather than suffer beneath the burden of debt. And doing so, I will no longer need to keep score.

I'll try again tomorrow on "Lest we remember."