Social niceties are taught to us from our earliest years to our adulthood. We’ve all been the three year old child that wants to get from Toy A to Toy B. Great Aunt Karen is moving slowly along and we’d just rather push her aside to get to our destination. So, we go full speed ahead, prepared to run Great Aunt Karen down when Mom stops us.
“Parker, say excuse me.”
Who wants to do that? The toy is more important than being nice to the tree with limbs walking by. But, then Mom gives us that look we all know and we mumble out, ” ‘Scuse me.”
Not that Great Aunt Karen moved any faster. By the time she does, we’ve lost interest in the toy and we wasted five minutes.
Then of course, we’ve learned to say ‘Thank you’ when someone does something for you or gives you something. Even if we don’t want to. How many horrible Christmas sweaters did some of us get this year? Or, the gift you never saw coming because you didn’t know it existed. “Thanks so much for toenail shavings art maker! I’ve always wondered what I was going to do with the toenails I clip off. Instead of throwing them away, I’ll now be able to turn them into a swan.”
So throughout our lives, we’ve learned to be polite to others because it’s what we’re taught. And for the most part, we’d all agree there’s nothing wrong with being polite. If someone holds a door for you, you say “Thank you”. Or if you mistakenly bump into someone, you say “Excuse me”.
However, these social pleasantries eventually become run of the mill. We can say them without meaning them. And often we do because we’ve been taught to say them when we really didn’t want to.
Imagine how I must feel then as I take a reflective step back and look down this year.
First and foremost, I see the hand of God as He carried me through each moment and every second, never leaving me alone and a constant friend and companion.
Next, I see my family and friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin. Encouraging me when I was discouraged and supporting my hopes and dreams.
Third, I see the network of fellow authors I’ve come to call my colleagues and have learned so much from them. They’ve taught me to be a better writer, shared in my joy, worked with me through my frustrations, and have been excited for my career as I am for theirs.
Fourth, I’ve listened to the archived episodes of my shows, awed by the insightful commentary that listeners have participated in every time I’m on air. They queried, questioned, disagreed, agreed, and made my shows what they are.
Lastly, I see the reviews of my books and how wonderfully supportive you all have been. I’m humbled by the sales that continue to come through and the interaction of fans as they contact me with their appreciation of my art I was terrified to share.
These of course, are just the tip of the iceberg of what the year has brought me. As I list them in the most general way I can, I’m left with this problem: ‘Thank you’ doesn’t even begin to describe what I feel toward God and all of you who have been with me this year. It pales the depth of emotion that is inadequately described by the words ‘thank you.’ My appreciation is such I don’t think any word could quite catch what I’m trying to say.
So until there’s another word that can capture exactly what how much I appreciate your support this year, ‘Thank you’ will do.
Thank you so much and God Bless. Happy New Year!