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It’s OK – The Decay of Thanksgiving

I think a major problem that plagues our world today is the lack of responsibility. Nobody wants to take responsibilty for their actions, particularly negative ones. While others have written extensively about this, I want to focus on something more specific (and appropriate at this time of year, I think) – giving thanks.

I am tired of people diminishing the acts of others, in order to make themselves feel better. Have you ever offered someone, say a friend, a piece of your meal? You are eating some ribs and you know that your friend John just loves ribs. He’s enjoying his BBQ chicken, but you catch him eyeing your plate a few times during the meal. You cut him a piece, push it aside (so he knows it’s just for him) and you ask:

“John, do you want to try some of these ribs?”

What does he reply, while reaching over for it?

“Oh, are you sure? Are you getting full?”

Am I getting full? Am I trying to push my food off onto your plate? Am I in some moral predicament where I love paying for my full meal but I can’t stand leaving anything behind on my plate? No. No. No. Why don’t you try: I am your friend and I am trying to offer you some food.

People love to diminish your good deeds by turning the tables on you. All of a sudden it went from my charitableness to him doing me a favor by taking my food off my plate. Why do people do this? Saying thanks costs you nothing. But for some reason, people cannot do that. It’s almost as if they think that if they thank you, they lose something.

Another favorite:

“Hey, would you like a piece of this prime rib?”
“Oh, you don’t like it?”

Who the hell does not like prime rib? Again, rather than saying “Thanks, that’s very nice of you,” the person is trying to find a way to lessen the deed. Instead of thanking you for your generosity, you should be the one thanking them for helping you out. Rediculous.

Lastly, even if people are not responsible for the lack of thanks, they always have to add a fleeting jab just to make themselves feel better. What am I talking about? The infamous “it’s OK.” Example:

“Hey, want to get some coffee tonight?”
“Nah, it’s OK”

It’s OK? What does that mean? Why wouldn’t it be OK? What is this person trying to accomplish? I’ll tell you. They are reversing the situation and turning it into a case where they are doing YOU a favor. If I offer you an invitation to coffee, a date, or slow walks on the beach and you decline, you are not doing me a favor. What the statement is saying, when extended, is: “No, that is a big hassle on your part and I would like to decline to save you the trouble”

Unfortuantely, it is usually no trouble at all. Maybe I enjoy spending time with you. Or I want to help you with your errands. A little selfish on my part, but hey, you benefit as well.

I am growing increasingly tired and frustrated at this problem. I admit, I use the line (“it’s OK”) as well. Recently, each time I have use or hear it, it makes me think about how little sense it makes and I actually start feeling guilty and ashamed.

So why don’t we grow up people, and start taking on some responsibility. Learn that what we are doing is *not* OK. We can all start this Thanksgiving.

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