Two little words.

Just two.

I remember the times when others remembered to speak them to me. It’s not that we do things for the “thank yous”, but when others intentionally (or unintentionally) forget you–it can hurt. Perhaps you know of someone in your own life who deliberately gaslights or minimizes your participation, or who doesn’t fully acknowledge you, or takes credit for your work.

I’m not talking about the accidental times we forget to say these important words. We all are guilty of forgetting, and sometimes taking someone else for granted.

I’m talking about something else; a consistent taking, a consistent forgetting, and deliberate usage of another’s ideas without proper credit.

Saying “thank you” to someone and giving THEM credit for their work and ideas, and what they have contributed, goes a long way in showing love and expressing appreciation to another human being. Remembering to say thank you and acknowledging them is extremely important and a hallmark of integrity and character.

It’s hurtful to be forgotten. It feels like a cut.

Sometimes, it may be appropriate to go back to the other party, and talk about it.

Other times, it may not. How many times (how often) have I let these things go? How often have I given the other party the benefit of the doubt? Perhaps too often.

Sadly, it makes one weary of trusting. It makes me weary of putting myself out there, again and again–while trying to help–and getting taken advantage of. Perhaps, you’ve been there, too?

For me, it is a sharp reminder not to treat other people the same way. I cannot control other people, but I can control myself and how I respond to other people. I can remember to say thank you.

Integrity is a big word. An important word. Saying “thank you” to someone else is a mark of integrity and recognizing the contributions of others around us. Failing to give credit where it is due and acknowledging the contribution of others could be a mark of internal insecurity or selfishness.

It’s painful to be forgotten or minimized. Being treated in this manner has given me the resolve to be mindful of those who walk with me in the darkness, the loneliness, and not forget them when I come out of the tunnel.

To help myself remember those assisting me with a current project, I created a spreadsheet, and I’m writing in names and the tasks they are helping me with. I don’t want to forget. Remembering them, and saying thank you, is of utmost importance to me. It values the other person and says “I appreciate you”, “I haven’t forgotten you”, “I respect you”.

Two words. Thank you. They carry a world of meaning.

picture credit: Unsplash