Last night I asked myself what the relationship is between the socially-necessary utterances (please, thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry, etc.) and the feelings they’re meant to stand for. How does one teach one’s children about humility, gratitude, respect, regret? How does emphasizing the manners associated with those feelings inflect how they are experienced as genuine emotion?
Put simply: am I squeezing all the gratitude from a situation by nagging Akiva to say please and thank you? How can I stop?
I’m going to try modeling gratitude and see what happens. It’ll probably do me some good too.