My parents raised me to say “please” and “thank you”. They taught me well. It stuck. I have been told that I am an “over-thanker.” I say it so often, and occasionally, glibly, that I don’t even know that I am saying this polite idiom.
In the Chinese tradition, saying “Thank you” to a close friend is met by the abrupt response of “bu keqi” (“Don’t mention it.”) Don’t mention it means “Really, please don’t say thank you. We are family and not strangers.”
In China, when you say “thank you” to people who care about you, it is seen as disregard. To say thank you to a friend or family member means, “You think our relationship is not well.” This polite expression conveys that you see us more as strangers than siblings.
So, to work on my “thank you” compulsion I will begin to say, “Blessings!
I bless God who has blessed me with the blessing of you! In the words of the apostle Paul:
I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly… (Ephesians 1:16, NLT)
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17 NIV )
To my many, many friends and family, around the world, I just want to say, “No, Thank You!”