Blonde On The Prairie: Can Thinkers Be Thankers?

Think. I do it often. I probably do it too much. It takes just one thought to turn into a whole universe of thoughts. I didn’t know myself well when I was two years old but I’m guessing I asked, “Why” a lot because I do now. I just can’t stop thinking once a subject is given to me. If you stop me on the street and tell me you’re planning on opening a new business I’m already thinking about who you need to call to make you the best sign in town. I’m already thinking of how to get you better wholesale pricing. I’m thinking of how the store should be set up for the perfect flow. And when we leave each other I drive home thinking until I’ve out thought all of my other thoughts and feel comfortable I’ve covered all your bases. I think about other people’s feelings a bunch.I wonder how other people don’t think about other people’s feelings a bunch. I wonder why I wonder and so I wonder some more.

I’m thankful for my thinking. I really am. I’ve met non-thinking people who like to call themselves thinkers but really they’re just people who like to think that they think. Really they like to talk. Talking and thinking are two entirely different things. Talkers can be thinkers.
It’s proven. What I’m having a problem with is something I’ve found myself thinking about. Think. I looked at the word and saw it had an “I” in the middle. Then I thought about the word “Thank.” Thank is the same as think but it has an “a” as its middle letter. That got me to thinking. I overuse the word “I” in my life. “I did this, and I went to that.” “I completed this and I spoke at that.” I say, “I” so much that I begin sounding like a camel caller from the Middle East! “Iiii, Iiii, IIiiiiiiiiii, Iiiii, I!” I make a very un-believable camel caller and so I just spend the time I have left on this prairie thinking.

I am a thinker but am a thanker? Anything that is preceded with an “a” is followed by a noun of some sort. That takes the attention off the letter “I” and puts it with something else. Thinking becomes thanking and that just feels nice. Nice is good and good I want to be which got me to thinking. Can thankers be good thinkers? Can thinkers be good thankers? If you say think and thank long enough you begin sounding like dripping water in an aluminum pan. Think, thank. Think, thank, Think thank. You just tried it didn’t you? That means you took the time to think about it and I’m thankful for that.

If one more person tells me, “Blondie, you think too much” I will thank them for their not so humble opinion and keep thinking anyways. I’ll wish for the day someone says, “Blondie, you thank too much.” It got me to thinking, “Is there such a thing as thanking too much?” Could we harm the greater good for saying “Thank you” or giving thanks even on the bad days? Let’s think about it. What if we spent less time thinking and more time thanking. What if we didn’t think about thanking and just thanked our little hearts out? Someone wrongs you and you thank them.
You hit a deer on County Road 17 and you get out and yell, “Thank you!” Your neighbor has a party and it keeps you up all night and you thank them in the morning. You thank that husband of yours for leaving the toilet seat in the up position and thank your kids for not doing their chores. Think about it. One of two things will happen. They’ll think you’ve got stark, raving, mad or they’ll like how thanks feels even when unwarranted. Thinking about it there could be one more reaction. They could thank you for kindly not saying “thank you” so much which could yield you added power in the end. You could be thinking about saying, “I’ll stop thanking as soon as you start cleaning.” A win-win for all parties involved.

I plan to think less and thank more. Think, thank, thunk. I thunk about it and I think thanking is a good practice all around. Thank you for reading this – I think.

Ingstad lives on the prairie near Valley City and writes this column for the Times-Record.