Today Matters » Carrying on a Tradition of Gratitude

Carrying on a Tradition of Gratitude

KidsCraftsNovember 2, 2018
There are pleasantries that we use on a daily basis; ones that we take the time to teach our children from a very young age and they include expressions like “hello,” “good morning,” “please,” and “thank you.” Of course there are others that fit in this category, but I’d like to focus on the last one listed. I’d like to focus on “Thank You.”
According to, the habit of saying “please” and “thank you” first began to take hold during the commercial revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries — among the people of the middle classes who were largely responsible for it. It was the language of shops and offices, and over the course of the last five hundred years or so it has spread across the world along with them. It is actually a token of a much larger philosophy, a set of assumptions of what humans are and what they owe one another.
I love that last part. Did you catch it? As a society, we function on the value that we give and receive from others. Whether a business transaction or act of selflessness, “thank you” is expressed when we are grateful.
Here we are, on the near eve of Veteran’s Day, followed closely by Thanksgiving. As we head into these days of remembrance, both inherently lend themselves to a spirit of thankfulness. As we honor and appreciate American men and women for serving our country to protect our freedoms and spread democracy to the world, and as we celebrate Thanksgiving, remembering the first harvest of the pilgrims and their sacrifices, it’s easy to see that we owe a debt of gratitude to those who came before us. The purpose of these sacrifices was to offer opportunity and freedom to others. Here we are, in many ways, the benefactors of the sacrifices of others.
At this time of year, feeling thankful that common people, just like us, we are willing to offer themselves for the good of others is what giving thanks is all about. What a great lesson to teach our children and what a great reminder for us all on why we should be thankful.