Habit of Saying Thank You - 14 Mar 08

Yashendu went to Delhi today to do some things and to pick up my friend Michael who is coming from Germany especially for the week of Holi, the colour festival. And of course for visiting us here. I am looking forward to having him here.

When we were having breakfast in the morning Melly asked me: "Can you pass me the butter please?" And I said: "Yes, thank you." We were all laughing about that because this happens sometimes with me. It is because I am only learning to say thank you. In India we do not really have this habit with people who are close. I also was not used to it. I like to keep it in my heart, feel it and let people know this through feeling. I also feel like when I say thank you it is like paying the bill. Okay, I said it, it is done. You do not need to feel thankful anymore because you said it already. I know that people out of India mind it if I don't say thanks and also sometimes I was told that it seemed impolite so I learned to say this. However sometimes it happens that I say it in a funny way because I am still not really used to it. It will come. I know, though, that my friends and supporters out there on the planet know and feel how thankful I am and how I love them.

I also had some experience with people who thought I have to be very thankful, who assumed that I owed them big time and that actually, without them nothing would work. It is a false kind of ego that they have. It is not only in my life, I think in every person's life you will find people who think that you could not survive without them, that the world would stop turning if they were not there. But history saw many kings come and go and the world went on turning. The problem is that these people act in a funny way and, when their ego is broken, when something makes them realize that they are not that important they are broken, ashamed and many other unpleasant feelings come up. They harm themselves. So better keep the ego down.

Tomorrow we will do one exercise for keeping the ego away. We will distribute food to 222 people. Someone is celebrating and wants to share this with the poor people. That is how the kitchen was very busy today, already preparing for tomorrow. It will be a nice event again.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Doris Krois

    Haha, western costumes. I wasn’t born in the US but I live there now and it took me the longest time to get use to someone asking me how I am and then continuing to walk past me before I answered.

  2. Cutter Meeker

    I know what you mean Swami Ji. When some people say thank you often they mean it very much and the feeling of deep thanks does not go away once they say it. They wish to share what they feel. Some people never seem to mean it, but it is habit to say it.

  3. Heidi

    If you feel guilty because of the way you have behaved, take a breath. Let it go and enjoy where you are.

  4. Dru

    Oh wow, I almost never think of saying thank you, we just didn’t do it in my family. People just all do what they feel like, no need for thanks.

  5. Natasha Marshall

    It’s so strange to me, my family says thank you all the time. All the time! You gauge by expression and the topics you discussed or what you’ve just done what it means.

  6. Emily

    Haha, this is a funny cultural difference to get used to. I did feel confused when I first arrived in India… I didn’t really hear people saying thank you. But I learned the word for it anyway so that I could say it, which is “dhanyavad.” So I would start saying it when someone would bring me food, but I never heard “you’re welcome” in Hindi back! I was confused… but then the custom in India was explained to me. And now I’ve noticed that if I say “dhanyavad,” there is no response. But if I say “thank you” in English, they say “welcome!” So the language determines the custom, I suppose!

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