‘Sorry’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are magic words that make a person feel important, pacify tempers, strengthen bonds and at times mend strained relationships

YOU come rushing into the kitchen where mummy is busy preparing dinner and announce, “I am feeling hungry and want something to eat!”

Mummy gives you a tired look, but still she quickly fixes a sandwich for you and serves it to you with a glass of milk. You devour your snack in front of the television and declare, “I am going to do my homework” and head to your room, leaving behind your empty plate and glass on the lounge table.

Now look at the same situation with a better approach. You walk into the kitchen and quietly watch mummy as she seems busy. Then you say politely, “I am sorry to disturb you mummy, but I am feeling hungry. Please can I have a snack?”

After finishing what your mother has served you, you take your plate to the kitchen sink (or better still, wash it), walk up to your mother and with a hug say, “Thank you mummy, the sandwich was delicious.”

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Which of the above two scenarios would make your mother feel more appreciated and happy? We know that it is the duty of our parents to fulfil our needs, whether they are small or big. Our parents are always out there to cater to our requirements. They strive hard to keep us happy, comfortable and content, but they also expect a polite and grateful attitude from us in return. At times, however unintentionally, we fail to acknowledge their efforts. Our attitude when we want something can either make them happy or frustrate them! We must understand that there is a very thin line between a demand and a request, but often we fail to feel the difference.

A father of three says, “I do not like being taken for granted by my children, although I know very well that of all people in the world, they will turn to me for their requirements. Instead of starting a sentence with “I want”, I feel much better if they say “Please” and “Thank you” after I have catered to their need”.

When we say “Please”, it shows respect and consideration for our parents’ thoughts and feelings. When we say “Thank you”, it shows appreciation, respect and love. It shows them that we really do care about the way they toil to help us. This rule also applies to all the other relations we are in, for example our siblings, teachers, peers and relatives.

Often in school, we need help from a friend or class fellow. We may need to borrow a book which we forgot to keep in our bag, or require something as trivial as a pencil, eraser or a sharpener which we have misplaced. Sometimes a friend is better on a subject in which we are lagging behind and we want him to explain it to us during a free period.

These favours may seem small to us if we take them for granted and do not consider it important to say “Please” before asking for something and “Thank you” after our need is met. But friends if this attitude persists, hard feelings set in, because it is human nature that we want to be appreciated for any kind or helpful act we perform.

Another magic word which most of us find hard to say is “Sorry”. Suppose somebody pushes you as you are descending the stairs after school is over. In trying to balance yourself, you bump into a friend just ahead of you and he falls.

You may either mumble something like “It was not my fault” and move on, or you may stop and say “I am so sorry, but someone pushed me and I lost my balance”. You pull your friend back to his feet and help him gather his bag, water bottle and lunch box. Which approach do you think is correct and will make your friend feel better?

Saying “Sorry” for something we have done wrong, whether intentionally or unintentionally, may be a bit hard on our ego as admitting a mistake is often difficult. But once we realise how important it is to apologise in a required situation and how far it goes in strengthening a relationship, it will be effortless to swallow our pride and the word will come easily to us.

Friends, we must understand that all relations are based on the policy of give and take! Children are usually on the receiving end, but by showing their gratitude when their requirements are met, asking for something in a polite manner and apologising when they have done something wrong or have hurt someone, is their way of paying back the efforts of their elders.

‘Sorry’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are often called magic words because they work like magic! They make a person feel important, pacify tempers, strengthen bonds and at times mend strained relationships. Only a thoughtful, polite and grateful person uses them often. As human beings, we all want to feel appreciated, loved and respected. By treating people around us in a proper manner, we show them the courtesy and respect they expect from us. In addition to this, these magic words also make us feel better about ourselves. n

We must understand that there is a very thin line between a demand and a request, but often we fail to see the difference


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