Just Say Thank You

Posted By on Sep 22, 2014 | 15 comments

“Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy.” -Lewis CK

I love that quote. If you haven’t seen the Lewis CK interview with Conan where he talks about how we live in such an amazing time yet everyone complains, you need to check it out.

Many of us were promised jetpacks and flying cars when we were kids. People said that those things would be available by the year 2000. We were also told that trips to space would be common for everyone.

While some of those somewhat extravagant, and potentially disastrous things haven’t come to fruition, our world is still filled with so many wonders.

Here in the western world, we take devices like smart phones for granted. They connect us to people all over the planet in ways that would have been deemed impossible thirty years ago. Your personal communications device has more computer power than all of NASA when they sent a man to the moon. We have internet on airplanes. We’ve been able to set up supply chains to get fresh food to massive metropolitan areas in a short amount of time. Our cars tell us where we need to go with GPS system. We can connect with friends we’ve not seen in years through social media.

There are a million other things I could list here that make this time an incredible one to live in, but I won’t. You get the idea. Things are good.

Every time I turn around however, someone is complaining.

Critics talk about how bad movies are, complain about the things a smart phone won’t do, or tear apart a restaurant that actually has pretty darn good food.

One recent event sparked an enormous amount of criticism from a mass of people.

When Apple released the new iPhone 6 and their Apple Watch, they also had rock legends U2 perform a song at the end of the event. It was a cool end to the whole thing, but Apple and U2 took it a step further and surprised everyone.

U2 agreed to release their new album for free on iTunes, doing an exclusive release with Apple until mid-October. The most interesting part about it was that the user didn’t have to do anything. The album would download automatically to the iTunes account.

I was fascinated by this and immediately opened up my laptop to see what would happen.

Sure enough, a few minutes later I had the new U2 album on my computer, free of charge.

I told many of my friends, most of whom were equally as excited.

As I combed through the internet, twitter sphere, and other places I started finding people complaining about the U2 album release:

“Don’t force your music on me. I was a fan of U2 but don’t make me take your free crap.”

“I guess they gave it away for free because no one would buy these lousy songs.”

“I don’t like that Apple just shoved music down my throat.”

These are just a few examples.

They are also perfect examples of the way we have become in this society. Too many people believe they are entitled to every little thing exactly as they want it. The funny thing is that when they get it, they will find something else to complain about.

The big problem I have with critics or people who always find something to complain about is that they are taking away the positive vibes in the world and replacing them with negative. The planet would be a better off if those people would just say, “Thank you.”

Instead of finding fault with everything, saying thank you puts a good energy out there. I personally tweeted U2 a thank you message when the album hit my laptop. I doubt they saw it with all the millions of followers they have, but I believe it was important to tell them I appreciated their gift.

I gave away thousands of copies of one of my books, and when people took the time to tell me thank you, it made me feel so good about the giveaway.

You have the power to change the world and change someone’s life, even for a moment. We take this power for granted and tear people down, sometimes without knowing it.

Society is full of enough problems. We see tragedy, sadness, hate, and crime all around us. It doesn’t have to be that way. And changes can begin by simply saying “Thank you.”

Your mission:  Say thank you to someone for something they’ve done. Got a Twitter account? Do it on Twitter and use the hashtag #MissionThankYou to help spread the word.

Together, we can make this world a more thankful place to be.


  1. Ernest – sometimes (too often?) I find myself complaining about some little thing instead of being thankful for all the good stuff in my life. Thanks for the reminder! Thanks, too, for the books – fiction and otherwise.

    Post a Reply
    • Hey, we’re all guilty of it. I know I get a little too complainy at times. That’s why I write these type of blog posts, to remind others and myself. 😉
      I appreciate your comment, Peter. 🙂

      Post a Reply
  2. Thank you for reminding people to say Thank You. I thank a waiter/waitress and other patrons look at me as if to say What, that is their job. I thank someone for holding a door for me and they look surprised but I want to thank a kind act. Yesterday at the grocery a man in a wheelchair waived for me to go ahead of him and a lady said hey, he is in a wheelchair and I said yes he is, but a gentleman is a gentleman and I appreciate that. To me it seems the world needs far less boos and a whole lot more Thanks. When did people decide they were everyone else critics. Seems they need a life of their own. Well enough of my critic, have a good day and Thank You!

    Post a Reply
    • You’re very welcome, Barbara. And thank you for sharing some of your experiences. 🙂

      Post a Reply
  3. Wow what a great statement you made.
    Thank you

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  4. Excellent reminder! Thank you. 🙂

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  5. Ernest, you are terribly greattttttttt n excellentttttttttt!!!!! The world neeeds more people like you to make it a better n beautiful place to live in…

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  6. You are right about society today. So many people don’t appreciate what has been given to them. Thank you for reminding us to give thanks to people that do something for us instead of complaining about it.

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  7. Hey, Ernie!
    Another great post, but you’ll have to forgive me for disagreeing (sort of).
    I think that oftentimes saying ‘No, thank you’ is an acceptable response, and it doesn’t add unnecessary negativity. Depends on the conditions of the gift – if there is no option to decline, and you didn’t want, need or ask for the thing, then saying ‘No thank you’ is your only recourse. I will, though, happily say ‘Thank You’ to you – this topic piqued my interest enough to write a post of my own – on my blog that I’ve been neglecting for way too long. As always, you find ways to inspire others! If you’re interested, here’s the link (and I won’t be offended if you say ‘no thank you’ – since it WAS unsolicited!) 😉 : http://www.mpmacdougall.com/2014/09/25/no-thank-you/
    Thanks for the food for thought!

    Post a Reply
    • I already posted a comment on your site, Mac!

      I loved your take on it. And you’re so right. Saying no, thank you doesn’t put any negativity out there. As a counterpoint, I didn’t see many tweets from people politely saying “no thank, you.” It was more about them getting as much attention as possible for being as clever or bitter as possible.

      That being said, I agree with your point completely and will consider your links to be a great piece of the pie. 🙂

      Anyone else out there who reads this and wants to know what I’m talking about, click the link Mac provided. It’s a great article. 🙂

      Thanks again, Mac. I’ve missed you.

      Post a Reply
      • Yeah, the tendency for people to resort to too much melodrama in search of notoriety is nauseating, to say the least. And you’re right – you could probably count on one hand the number of people who took the time to write a polite note to U2 or Apple declining the gift. People are way too quick to get offended, and then to vent their offense publicly. Here’s to the few who took the high road!

        Post a Reply


  1. No, Thank You | M.P. MacDougall - […] other day I was reading a post on Ernie Dempsey’s blog where Ernie discussed the disturbing trend of ingratitude…

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