Saying please goes beyond being polite and proper. The word please is as important as thank you, and in everyday life, words such as these could mean a world of difference. No other word as simple and straightforward could settle a misunderstanding, calm tempers, and build bridges towards reconciliation.
Well, there are other words to be said, of course. But since not all of us are able to say what we mean or say it well enough, it is a real blessing that we have been given something to use on our daily lives that require nothing more than a plosive consonant, continuing into the a rather pleasant vowel sound and a not so difficult easing out into the “z.” Saying /plēz/ is a no biggie; not really.
Teaching kids in saying please
How then do we teach our children to use the word, please as an adverb? How do we teach them how to use it such that it means, kindly? Teaching the meaning of the word when it is used as a verb is quite easy by comparison. We teach by example – that is the common response to that question. But parents find out when they try that it is isn’t that easy.
No matter how specific and intent a parent is in instructing that please be used in polite conversations and for every request and question, the parent must be the one to remember that children learn by watching them. And so, we teach by example in both word and action. No other social cueing and conditioning would be as effective as instilling by example. And in no way should saying please be forced on anyone.
Saying please is neither law nor requirement
There is no law that compels every socializing human being to say please. This practice is way older than any written law. And there is no better way to socially acknowledge a service and though considered a “little courtesy,” the payback is well worth it. We get what we give and sometimes we get more than we deserve just by saying please.
Imagine how pleasant every working day would be if every superior would remember to add that little courtesy at the end of every request. It takes just one word to transform a command into a request. It takes just one syllable to transform a working atmosphere from a tense dictatorship to a pleasantly organized haven for all. Saying please is akin to showing respect. Saying please is a sign that someone is recognizing another person’s worth as a fellow human being, no matter what his or her station in life is.
Good manners and right conduct were given ratings and grades by teachers in school when we were younger. Our parents did not give us any rating, but we were reminded and reprimanded when we were out-stepping our bounds. Now that we are left to police our own actions and manners, it pays to choose kindness over hostility. And since it won’t cost time or effort to do so, say please the next time the situation calls for it.