“…heaven was opened… And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased’” (Luke 3:21b, 22b).

“Please” is a word cropped from the phrase, “If it pleases you…” The cropped expression tends to miss the sense of humility expressed with the longer original expression.

We see that too in “Bye,” the word cropped from the original longer expression, “God be with you.”

“Please” had downgraded the sense, that a favor asked is subject to the pleasure of the one whose favor is sought.

Just as it is easier to lose a miniaturized microSD external drive, than its bigger version, it was easier to lose the single word, “Please,” than the phrase “If it pleases you.” It was, likewise, easier to disregard the too short “Bye” than the longer meaningful “May God be with you.”

Whenever someone asked me to do or to give something, without adding “please” to the request, I tended to decline the request. Because I resented the rudeness, and I objected to the demanding attitude, I tended to ignore the request, even if that request was easy to grant.

When, however, the “please” was missing from a request by a superior, or by one with authority over me, I obliged to do that favor. Authority demands compliance, under pain of disciplinary action.

The Spanish translation of “Please,” that is, “por favor,” speaks well of the nature of such request. I am doing the requested action “for favor” towards the one requesting.

In English, the longer phrase, “If you please…” is equivalent to “por favor.” If it pleases me… I take time off from what I am doing for myself to give time to the one seeking part of it. I am giving what I need for myself to give it to the one asking part of it.

It is my favor; I am not obligated to do it; the requesting party is not entitled to it. But if it is asked of me with humility and with politeness, I will oblige myself. The “Please” softens a natural resistance to act.

To the one seeking a favor, P.L.E.A.S.E. said is…Polite Language Eliminating Any Self Entitlement.

To the one granting a favor, P.L.E.A.S.E. heard is…Powerful Lingo Energizing Action Serving Everyone. VSS

10 January 2022, Cycle C-2022, 1st Sun OT, Baptism of the Lord, Isaiah 40:1-5; 9-11 + Titus 2: 11-14; 3:4-7 + Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

Picture Credit: The Summoning Finger, from SmartTravel.com