- Gender and Relationships
The word "ThanK You" means more than just an appreciation of people's kindness
"Received with Love"
The word “Thank You” means more than just an appreciation of people’s kindness
From the time we learned to talk we were taught to say Thank You. Kids are tested for their intelligence by being asked the question: What do you say to mommy after you got a box of chocolate during the weekend? Or a gift on your birthday? At a young age, we were taught the value of gratitude. If you are grateful more good things will come to you, our grandparents told us. So we grew up, saying Thank You whenever we got something good from people.
The question with Thank You is that it has become just an automatic response to a good deed or a gift we receive. What does Thank You really mean in our lives? I like the Malaysian meaning of Thank You. Teremakaseh means Received with Love. Is there a better meaning than receiving something good with love?
Everyday, when we open our eyes to the peeping sun, we say thanks to God. Receiving something with love is letting love flow like what we would do with cash in our economic system. If we want a healthy economy, we let the cash flow within the city, for instance. We don’t keep the cash. Spending the cash so that the city will benefit from the flow of the asset is very important for the economy to stay robust. I think we are all familiar with the saying that goes: Love isn’t love until it is given away; until it flows over to others. Like giving thanks.
Every morning as I enjoy the cool water from the shower, I say “Thanks”. Having water in abundance in the bathroom is a blessing indeed. But what about the poor in blighted communities who find it very hard to have access to clean water because they don’t own the land they are living in? Or worse still, because they are viewed by the government not as legitimate citizens of the city but as a “nuisance” who must be evicted by whatever means to give way to big business which brings revenue to the government? Saying thanks in the morning is thinking of the poor who have no water and working in whatever way so that they can have access to clean water.
Similarly, as I enjoy a well-lighted room at night with a hearty dinner, I say thanks. Yes, the good food is Received with Love. But what does this mean to me? Do I just pay lip service to the concept of gratitude? Why are the poor in blighted communities forever accused of stealing electricity through the use of jumpers? Is society doing something for the poor citizens of the city so that they won’t be pushed to steal electricity or water? When I say thanks for a well-lighted and well-ventilated room, do I let my love flow to my fellow citizens in the city the way I would spend cash so that the economic system of the city will be dynamic?
Thank You is not a static word like all other words about receiving love. It's not just a word. It is a responsibility to pass on the love received.