Woven into the Red Room King Lear conversation, James Whyle wrote that Lear's "thank you" is the most important line in the play. "Pray you, undo this button: thank you, sir." Then a plea to look, then Lear dies.
Whyle writes that this Thank You is Lear's redemption, an observation that seems true to me and deep. As I wrote in that same thread: perhaps redemption isn't always accompanied by soaring.
I sometimes joke that the only rule given to my daughter growing up was that she had to write thank you notes before she could play with or wear any present. That probably isn't completely true, but saying thank you is high on my list of what it is to be a mensh, a person, a human being. Belle Yang has wondered in some of her posts if we're spending too much time praising each other in our comments -- an interesting point, but I think some of this praise is simply saying thank you.
I also joke about "thank you" with the teaching artists I work with at WritersCorps because I bring in so many cards to meetings for us to sign in gratitude to someone for something, and I write so many thank you emails to each of them. It is funny in a way, how important saying thank you is to me. And yet I also notice how thank you is part of a solid base for relationships between our teaching artists and staff at their sites, between me and each teaching artistand site rep ; I notice how far thank you takes us as human beings working together.