When I was boy growing up in Basseterre, the older folks would insist that we express thanks for practically everything. They used to say in their layman’s language that “good manners would take us around the world!” Sometimes they would even prolong their thoughts By invoking God into their sentiments in order to get their point across. What I did not realize at the time was that they were actually preparing me for the fine art of common courtesy. Those lessons continued to play a significant part in my interaction with others as I matured. I am particularly troubled and disconcerted now By how crude we have become in this modern century. We are rude, uncouth, boorish, impetuous, confrontational and cruel in our language towards each other. We need a reminder of grandma’s courtesy manual in order to begin the refinement and restoration of our politeness. The word thanks mean to express appreciation or gratitude. Another definition is a feeling or acknowledgement of generosity for a favor shown. There are numerous examples of how appreciation has been exhibited and should be done. Sanitation engineers Sanitation is a vital part of the preservation of our environment. For years sanitation workers have worked to remove waste that others dispose of. They are often waiting in line after carnival activities, Labor Day marches, music festivals, sporting events, outdoor picnics and other events to remove the trash left behind By the celebrants from those activities. As a child, I often heard people make unkind or thoughtless remarks about people involved in this vocation. There were times when I also engaged in such demeaning and belittling conversation. I was not conscious of the ignorance that was being perpetuated, and I was too immature to know to say ‘thank you.” In later years, I realized that the role that these workers played was beneficial to ALL inhabitants of St. Kitts. Without realizing it, their duties kept the commercial activities vibrant and our country appealing and attractive. Imagine uncollected waste piled up in our streets, in front of businesses and homes throughout our communities. Such circumstances could also lead to disease outbreaks or even epidemics. Sanitation Workers are essential in our society and universally. So to all sanitation workers, we express our profound gratitude to the service you have rendered on the behalf of your fellow human beings in keeping our surroundings safer, cleaner, and more attractive. Domestic engineers For generations, the keeping of homes has always been led By women who were housewives themselves, or worked as a housekeeper or nanny in the homes of others. Their duties were not considered sophisticated nor requiring much education. Instead, theirs was simply regarded as a manual task or a service rendered. Still, their skills allowed them to provide nourishment and nurturing for their own children and the children of those whom they served. They regarded their work as noble and honorable even if society did not. They took great pleasure in the satisfaction of it. They felt that they had accomplished something useful when they saw their “big shot master’s” children going off to school in clothes neatly ironed, nails properly groomed and hair clean and neatly styled. Such work allowed the workers’ own children to directly benefit from the money their mothers made while toiling hard to provide for them a better life. So I salute the maids, bed makers, bathroom cleaners, grounds keepers, and instructors of good manners for their outstanding contributions that they have given to our society. You have a right to feel pride because you have contributed in the making of the life of a doctor, lawyer, bankers, teacher, nurse and politician. I often wondered, what if no one had dared to take on the profession that you have made your own, would we have accomplished dream set for ourselves and children? I hardly think so! Take a bow for the majestic service rendered. You are truly a gift sent from above. Preacher/Teacher Spiritual leaders were instrumental in providing moral and spiritual stability in our society. We used to elevate these individuals. We understood how important it was for God to be involved in our lives. For us, the preacher was the ambassador/messenger who spoke on the behalf of the invisible God we hope to not see. The preacher’s message was endearing, inspirational, and sometimes a bit fiery, but we knew he meant well. We could hardly wait for each Sunday to come to Bible class to hear another story about Jonah and the whale or Father Abraham and his many children. The preacher commanded our respect and admiration. He often strolled By with his Bible tucked neatly under his arm, a stern yet serene look on his face. As he passed By, he would say, “How are you doing today, kids? I hope to see you in church next Sunday.” We would say, “Yes, Pastor. Mamma gon see to it that all are we come.” Today that respect has diminished greatly for many men of the cloth. I continue to believe that most men who pursue the calling to teach spiritual discipline do it because of their great concern that their fellow man. They understand that we have an obligation to submit our lives to a higher calling. They believe sincerely that no nation can sustain itself without the divine principles written in the Bible. This is why they have dedicated their lives and family in the greatest and most magnanimous service of all. I can only challenge the present generation to pay close attention to the message and information disseminated from Godly ministers. By listening to these caring preachers you will be able to build moral character and live dignified lives within your society. It is the preacher who is first at your bedside to comfort you when a loved one has lost the battle with a devastating illness. It is the preacher that offers a daughter or son practical advice before they take their wedding vows. It is the preachers who calms a nation on the brink of collapse and reminds those in authority to act responsibly and to provide exemplary leadership to their people. It is the preacher who, when a ba By is born, offers instructive thoughts to the family as it relates to that child’s future. The extraordinary respect we showed to preachers during the early development of our nation has somewhat eroded. Today, we can hear individual in government and various aspect of society maligning and denigrating this great profession with the harshest terminologies possible. I believe it is our duty to elevate these remarkable servants who spend their entire lives looking after the security of other human beings. No doubt, we owe them a great depth of gratitude. Conclusion These three distinct professions and the reputable individuals that assume these occupations or offices, in my opinion are some of the most devoted and humble human beings any nation can ask for. Let us never forget the enormity of the contributions they have made and continue to make in the improvement of the environment, the nurturing of our children and providing spiritual and moral instruction to a nation that desperately needs it. They often go unnoticed and may think that their position is not valued, when really their work is of great importance. Each of us has a role to play within society. No matter how simple a task may seem, one must always express gratitude for those who work honestly to better the lives of all their people. Let us honor them for a job well done!
Commentary By Paul D. Woods There’s so Much in “Thank You”
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