Saying Please and Thank You

I just finished a novel on the Amish (The Kingdom of Simplicity by Holly Payne). One of the things the hero talks about is that they don’t use polite language. They don’t say “please” and “thank you.” I would argue that in fact that they do. They say those things to God, whom they understand to be the genesis of all. My suspicion is that they believe it would be disrespectful to God to give that thanks away.

I understand creation and the created to be a much larger part of the Divine rather than just the result of… and so please and thank you is prayer. Gratitude and longing are most visibly focused on creatures rather than creator — at least in my little world.

But few of us live a life that as slow, with as much time for observation and presence as the Plain folk… so, we might do well to use those words to anchor us in the presence. What if we used them not as punctuation on a sentence, but as the sentence? Would our lives change? Would other people’s?

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