For those of you who are sailing fans and/or history buffs and saw the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of The World, there was a scene where Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany were having a heated argument about the merits of flogging. The comment made by the captain was that the good doctor didn’t understand what held their little wooden world together.
Please understand that I am not recommending we flog members of The FENG who fail to say thank you, but the analogy is that those who don’t say thank you apparently don’t understand what holds our little electronic world together.
NO ONE ever hears thank you enough. All of you are very kind to me and I get “love notes” from quite a few members every day. Don’t count on me telling you to stop. It is very nice to know that the hours I put into The FENG are SO appreciated.
I am not, however, asking you to send me more thank you notes.
What I am asking is that ANYONE posting a “Member in Need of Assistance” take the time to hit reply and say thanks to EVERYONE who has taken the time to send them an answer of ANY kind. Honestly, it’s not like you have to print an envelope and letter and put a stamp on it.
Thanks to Al Gore inventing this Internet thing, and Bill Gates inventing MS Word (or causing it to be invented), you have the world’s best power tools to ingratiate yourself to all those strangers who have listened to your plea for help.
Everything in The FENG is filled with hidden meanings. If you are requesting help on a topic, consider the fact that those who respond might actually have something in common with you, and/or want to be your friend. Yes, they might well be good networking contacts. Duh! By not letting them know you appreciate their gesture, you are missing out.
Doing favors for others is a Godfather thing. In the rest of the world, I do a favor for you, you do a favor for me. In The FENG, you don’t actually have to pay back the favor to the same person. You only have to make yourself available and be willing and open to doing favors for others to ask for as many favors as you like.
Some of us are in need now. Others will be in need at some point in the future. It is in all of our best interests that the many courtesies we extend to one another in the spirit of fellowship be fully recognized.
You aren’t required to put their children through college or throw yourself in front of a bus for a fellow member.
You are, however, expected to say, thank you, thank you, thank you, when someone extends the hand of friendship by sharing their knowledge and experience.
Who knows, within The FENG, common courtesy may even become something that isn’t uncommon. (By the way, this especially applies to new members returning phone calls from other members who have welcomed them to our “little” family.)