Everyday, I force upon my students, the importance of the four magic words, please, thank you, excuse me and sorry. Therefore, it’s a continuous stream of please Shauna teacher, thank you Shauna teacher, excuse me Shauna teacher and I’m sorry Shauna teacher. Nothing happens in school unless the students say it. My parents raised my sisters and I to realise the power that these words carry and now that I’m a teacher, I feel it an important part of education to pass it on.
Using the magic words builds good relationships with the people in your life. It shows your respect for the other party and “I’m sorry” are two words that can rebuild bridges. But as we grow older do we lose sight of the importance of the magic words and do we just use them through sheer habit?
How many of us rush around our daily lives and forget to say thanks? Or get bumped into on the street and instead of quietly saying “excuse me” or “sorry”, we give people a look that could kill? I’ll be the first person to put my hand up and say that sometimes that’s me. We don’t realise it when we’re dishing out the ignorance but when something happens that deserves a magic word and it doesn’t come, the result is like a stab to the heart. The effect is extraordinary. You feel let down and slightly disappointed that the other person didn’t think enough of the situation to apply a magic word. And what’s worse is that we’ve all been there, in that exact situation.
The other side is that when we do remember to use our magic words, do we really mean it? How many times a day do we buy something, or receive something or do something wrong and we just say thanks or sorry without meaning it? People say sorry all the time and if you asked them why they said it, they probably couldn’t tell you exactly what you did wrong. There’s really no point in using the magic words if you’re not going to mean them. It’s just makes it another empty word.
So maybe it’s time we all started taking lessons from ourselves by using the magic words more. I’m pretty sure no one is going to complain about you being over polite and you’ll know that even one of those magic words had the right effect on the right person.