(originally published July 20th, 2005)

There was this commercial last year for Citibank where one woman asked another woman when the baby was due. When the other woman said she wasn't pregnant, and was ready to challenge the first woman, the first woman said "thank you". The second woman was stunned, said "Who, me?", and offered to give the woman a hug.

As funny as that commercial was, it pointed out a reality that I see often in today's world, that being that the lack of courtesy is so strong that the act of saying something as simple as "thank you" has been lost.

I was brought up by old-school parents who taught me some of the social graces of the day, which includes holding doors, allowing others to go before me sometimes, and other small things like that. When these things are done for me, I always thank the person; lately, I haven't been hearing that word, and I think it's a shame.

It's not that I need my ego to be stroked for me to continue doing nice things for other people, but the reality of life is that we as human beings respond better to positive stimulus than either negative or no stimulus. When it seems like you're always giving, but never getting anything back, you could start feeling as though you're being taken advantage of, and if you have any pride at all, you might start to cut back on doing some of those good deeds that you've always wanted to be known for.

If you are a leader, or a manager, or a mother or father, or sister or brother, or close friend or barely friends, or a coworker or a client or a stranger or a customer, or just a person, you know how good you feel when someone thinks you for something. Try dishing it out every once in awhile, and see how the benefit you give others benefits you also.