The Problem with No Problem

Most of us grow up having drilled into our heads the words “please”, and “thank you”. We were reminded or scolded should these important words not be heard from our lips in the appropriate situation. While some traditions change over time, it seems the concept of manners and certain etiquette are still socially accepted and taught. We learn other things as well, like the valuable lesson from Thumper, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”, and the idea that a compliment and/or a smile can brighten someone’s day. We learn the importance of generosity, patience, and kindness. We learn that it feels good to help someone. We learn so much as to how we ought to behave, not merely because it is what we are told to do, but because it feels good to do so.
I say “we” a lot.
I wish this was the case. I wish some of these values and manners and such, were woven into our very beings. Sadly, some of us are painfully aware of how far from the truth this is. We see fellows cursing in front of young children; angry customers reaming out the cashier-in-training; people ignoring the shopper who dropped his/her groceries on the pavement; people sneering and loudly vocalizing opinions on raising a child when they come across one having a fit. We live in a world of a superior “Me“; We can say whatever we dang well please; we yell and demand and have come to realize that half of the continent is completely incompetent.
We are inherently self-centered, selfish beings. Even the compliments we give aren’t accredited to the person we are complimenting, but rather, our own stamp of approval. “ I love your shirt!”
Jumping back to the “thank you” thing too; it seems “you’re welcome” has been replaced with “No problem”.  (or “Yup”,; “You betcha”). The problem with “No problem”? It kind of translates to, “It’s okay, you didn’t inconvenience me“. Maybe that works in some situations, but perhaps not all. I am terribly guilty of this; at work especially, where I frequently reply to thank you with “Yup!” Perhaps it is a cultural thing, but lets not completely butcher the English language. ( We’ll save that for social media ;))
Let’s try to be good people; to say please and thank you and you’re welcome. Let us be slow to anger, slow to judge, quick to help out. And may we do things not because it is expected of us, but – as mentioned previously – because it feels good and right to do so.


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