I once heard a priest give a homily about the four important words to say. I don't know where he got it, but this isn't original with me. The words are Sorry, Thanks, Help and Wow. They cover a wide range of emotions and situations. Perhaps if we can say all these, if these are in our vocabulary, if they are a part of our common experience and expression, we may become a more genuine and healthy human being.
Sorry is perhaps the hardest of these words. To say you are sorry is to admit fault and to acknowledge a personal wrong that you committed. It means to admit that you need to repair a broken situation that you made happen. It puts us at the mercy of another who can accept or deny our apology.
Thanks is a wonderful word that conveys gratitude and appreciation. Do you still have the capacity to appreciate? It also acknowledges the gift that others have done for us. It takes us outside ourselves. Thanks is wonderful to say and to hear. It is the necessary oil that makes our relationships work. The frosting on the cupcake of life?
Help is a serious word. To ask for help acknowledges our need for others, our dependence. It says that I can't do it all myself. I need others. I am a part of something bigger than I, and I am not in control of it. I need you.
Finally, wow demonstrates our ability to be impressed, maybe more, to be amazed, to be stunned, to be taken outside of ourselves by something we encounter. It's like seeing the Milky Way for the first time or truly understanding what Christ did for us or appreciating the sacrifice of our parents. It is being taken aback and having your breath taken away. These four simple words, if put into practice, can bring about the presence of love and respect to those we encounter and maybe make us better people.
“I often think that the life of some poor employee who knows no will but that of others may be—if only she knows how to pro it by it—quite as agreeable to God as that of a religious who is always with her rule. ”
~Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars