Saying “please” and “thank-you” is basic stuff.

It’s easy to identify when gratitude is missing. When instead of making requests, people make demands. When someone has an attitude of presumption.

Nor does it take long to figure out when you’re being manipulated, even when the manipulation is couched in sticky-sweet overtures.

Ordinary manners are noticed more often by their absence. But, if you think of a time when you came away from an interaction with a glowing feeling, it’s probably because you had experienced genuine gratitude.

When someone takes the time to recognize and affirm you’re there, and to genuinely acknowledge that you’re presence and contribution are a gift — well, that makes all the difference.