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A word ‘Thank you’ matters a lot

When one says ‘thank you’ to his fellow men , one who said the word ‘thank you’ shows respect to the other for his good performance in any field of life. And the one who receives the word ‘ thank you’ is elevated to do further better in all aspects of his life.

A word ‘Thank you’ matters a lot

By Fr. Davies Edakkalathur SAC
The Gospel according to Luke (17: 11- 19) narrates the event of Jesus healing ten lepers. One among them a Samaritan felt the need of thanking Jesus when he found that he was healed of his leprosy. He realised that Jesus was the true son of God.

Rather he got the enlightenment that the one who healed him is the God incarnate. As a result he praised God at the top of his voice. He realised his unworthiness, prostrated at the feet of Jesus and thanked Him.

Saying a word ‘Thank you’ leads us to a brighter and a larger horizon. Samaria and Galilee are the regions that we pass through while we take the route, present Jerusalem to Jericho. This present high way Jerusalem to Jericho also reminds us of the ‘parable of the Good Samaritan’.

The healed leper the Samaritan had a broad mind. He sensed, rather he had the sensitivity of the need of saying a ‘thank you’ to Jesus for the healing, for the grace that he received from Jesus. Sensitive to the other and feeling with the other is a good attitude to be cherished.

While I was studying in Rome, one thing that touched me is that the Italians are very much in front in using the word ‘thank you’ or the word ‘ Grazie’ when someone extends a gesture of help , love or charity towards them. Where as in India in our informal culture, customs and living, one finds that with much difficulty one says thank you to the one who performed something extraordinary or to the one who showed a helping hand.

When one says ‘thank you’ to his fellow men, one who said the word ‘thank you’ shows respect to the other for his good performance in any field of life. And the one who receives the word ‘thank you’ is elevated to do further better in all aspects of his life. Hence, when one extends a word of ‘thank you’ or appreciation to the other , he bestows on the other a great amount of positive energy which will help him to excel in everything,whatever may be his profession or state of life.

Being grateful is Godly. Being thankful is gentlemanly. A man with gratitude is God fearing. And the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. One who fears God places God as his firstpriority. His heart and mind are so broad, so transparent; there is no place for jealousy and worldly politics. He persists in conforming himself to God, not the world.

Look at the rest of the nine lepers who were healed. Their attitude was quite different. Their attitude was like a ‘Saying’ in Malayalam: “Palam kadakuvolam Narayana, Palam kadannu kazhinjal koorayana”. They were not sensitive at all to Jesus. They were not grateful to Jesus for the healing they received from him. They took it for granted. Very often, most of us are similar to the rest of the nine lepers.

When someone says to you ‘thank you’, we can immediately come to know his personality and the good culture he has cultivated. We find that in India by and large people think that saying ‘Thank you’ is a form of humiliating themselves. But, remember, it has a positive dimension. Both, one who says ‘Thank you’ and the recipient, both are equally elevated. They experience the joy of friend-ship, fellow-ship, and fly high to the heights of life. Consequently, they open the windows to a brighter, colourful horizon of life.

I remember in my early child-hood Catechism classes, in which all of us have learned a basic question: “Why did God create man and woman?” Was there any need for God to create men and women? And the answer we learned was that: God created man and woman to Praise God, to Thank God and to Serve Him.Hence, thanking God, being grateful to God and thanking one another, being grateful to one another is divine. It is heavenly.

Very often we shower praises, compliments, appreciation, and ‘thank you’ to the person while he dies or at his burial. While he lived, nobody talks about his goodness. Many do not even recognise his achievements. While a person is alive, very few people talk about his talents, abilities, the contributions that he has made to the society. While he lives, very often we are under the bondage of jealousy, envy, and unhealthy competitive spirit, not forgiving we find very difficult to be happy and to accept the other with his success and progress. It is when a person lives; he needs our appreciation, encouragements, support, love and concern.

Many politicians, leaders make certain comments while a person dies such as: “Oh! His death was a great loss to our Country”. “Oh! He was a great organizer”, but while he lived these politicians and leaders did not recognise his achievements. It is while we live we need to be grateful to another, not when one passes away. Thanking or being grateful to one another creates a healthy community, a healthy society. The absence of gratitude brings forth un- healthy divisions.

Some thinkers and Philosophers hold the opinion that saying a ‘thank you’ and expecting a ‘thank you’ is childishness. But I would say that a man grows psychologically well when there is give and take attitude, when others appreciate us, when others accept us, when others encourage us, when we feel that others are happy with our performances.

Let us go back to the Bible passage that we started with. Let us not be like the rest of the nine lepers. Even Jesus asked the Samaritan leperwho was healed: “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”(Lk.Ch.17: 17-18).

As I conclude this article: “A word ‘thank you’ matters a lot” I would like to express that I have experienced that: a grateful heart is always a cheerful heart. It has no malice. It embraces all. Its refuge is in the Lord. When a person is grateful, then he lives a life of simplicity and he is always kind and sympathetic. He is not a narrow minded, crookedness does not permeate him.

As St. Paul says: “Brethren, let us be always thankful to God” for our very life is a gift from God, and our very aim is to possess Him who is eternal. As St. John puts it in his letters: “Those who love God, love one another”, in the same way those who are grateful to God will also be ‘thankful’ to one another.

(Fr. Davies Edakkalathur a Pallottine from Nagpur province holds a Diploma in Pallottine Spirituality and Formation from Rome, and he teaches at Pallottigiri Seminary, Trivandrum.)

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