Thank You: Disarming Duo

“I love you” are three words in the English language that can carry a lot of weight but they can also be casual or confusing.  “Thank you” is very definitive with no question as to its meaning and gravitas.

Can’t Stop Saying Thanks

In recent years, I have become more acquainted with these words and their effect on me when I’m on the receiving end.  In turn I am more compelled by the day to make sure I communicate my gratitude to everyone from my family, friends, acquaintances and anyone I come in contact with.  In the past year I have become sensitive to wanting to say “thank you” to entities such as Publix Supermarkets for carrying a certain product or two, the lady who runs Late July food products or the local Starbucks store.  When it comes to our family physicians, dentist or teachers I am finding little ways to convey our gratitude for their care and concern with things like baked goods or fresh herbs from our garden.

What Appears Small is Grand

Some skeptics may balk at this sort of behavior especially when it comes to the areas where customer service is expected with a hotel or restaurant: as if because these folks are in a service industry job they should be good at it regardless of whether they receive verbal thanks from customers.  While technically speaking this is logical, it cannot be discounted how grand an effect a small thank you can yield.  When I was in college I could only work during the summers since I was a full-time scholarship student-athlete during the year.  Since I still trained through the summers I had limited options for jobs. I took one as a maid for the campus hotel at University of Florida.  What I learned in those summers was priceless in terms of what it took to run a hotel in the background.  Likewise I was exposed to how very messy and downright disgusting that people could be when they stayed in a room that wasn’t their own to have to pick up after their departure.  I remember vividly the pure joy I felt when I would begin cleaning a room and spot a small note of thanks with a couple of dollar bills.  The overall gesture meant so much to me that to this day I always leave a tip for the housekeeping staff when I check out of a hotel.

Does the How Matter?

I’ve mentioned a  couple of the ways I’ve tried to express thanks in person but I’m not meaning to say that we have to go beyond the actual words and message explaining what we are grateful for when directing thanks.  It’s far better that we at least go ahead and let that person(s) know how we feel in return for what they gave us whether or not it was warranted.  Although monetary tips and physical gifts are always nice they are not what truly matters.

Too Much to Do, Too Much to Say

Is this sort of behavior easy to be consistent with over time? Of course not.  It’s 2012 and most of us are not quite sure how this century has already gotten to this year so very quickly as 1999 wasn’t so long ago.  Keeping up communicating our gratitude to anyone beyond our own close family ties or friends is many times impossible as it’s difficult enough just doing so with the former.  However, I must urge myself and anyone else who is open to the idea that it is still very important to try to say “thank you” to each other even if it’s just the person at the hectic fast-food drive –thru window.  We need to hear that affirmation.  It also helps affirm ourselves that we are blessed to receive that assistance, service, care, et cetera.  This is also critical when the service rendered is not the greatest: imagine that there are some people who do their tedious, tiresome work daily and don’t hear from anyone that their effort is appreciated.  It’s no wonder they and we become so jaded and disconnected with each other.

Thanks for Reading

Your time is precious as it is for all of us respectively and so I’m also grateful that you are reading this right now.  My hope and prayer is that you are able to take from these words something to encourage you in your individual charted path for life.  Thanks as well for any comments, positive or constructive criticism alike: it helps me to become a better communicator and share my philosophy as it continues to evolve in my life’s journey here on Earth.

R.V.S. Bean




The What: Food and Money – The Tango Tangle


My heart pinched inside my chest as I listened to the cashier’s announcement of the total price of my Publix grocery purchases.  “Absurd amount of money!” is the first reaction internally followed by a justification speech by the concerned mother/caretaker in me that knows it’s better to spend money on good food for my family even if it tightens the household budget in other areas.  This scenario repeats itself and the outcome is the same at least for me: I choose quality of food over cheapness and quantity any day.  What are the economic and environmental factors that any of us face today when making our food choices on a daily basis?


The perspective on who we’re buying food for obviously affects our choices.  Whether you’re single, married, living with roommates, with children, with elderly—all these groupings carry their respective needs, wants and overall themes.  Personally I can attest to the interesting blend of tastes I accommodate in my cooking and choosing of groceries as I have a husband, two boys under 4 years old (one an infant) and two octogenarians.  When I look around at many of my colleagues with children, it seems a majority of parents today are very sensitive to the question as to whether the produce they purchase is organic or not.  It turns out that there are some produce items that are more critical to buy organic like spinach and berries because of how porous the skin is and therefore easily absorbs pesticides.  Some websites you may find helpful for resource information: , , , , , , ,


Organic, non-genetically modified and local are some of the current buzz food words.  The term organic always makes me chuckle for a nanosecond as there’s hundreds of years of human evolution coursing through my blood that reminds me all food was once “organic” without the labeling.  It’s just that in the last century or so that our civilized societies started to meddle beyond what hybrid practices were in place already in agriculture.  It is interesting to note that recently many farmers are returning to using more natural methods in their crop and livestock management—part of it could be the increased consumer demand for organic products and another part may be that it has been found more cost-effective to use better sustainability practices on the environment when cultivating the Earth or animal stocks.  Again, my own battle is complicated when it comes to whether I buy organic, conventional or local food products.  I prefer organic but it’s not always available or cost-effective.  Local produce is desirable because I like supporting the farmers in Florida and it’s fresher with less gas emissions spent on its transport to my kitchen.  At the same time, a pint of blueberries from Peru may be farmed with the best ecological-friendly practices and taste better than the pesticide-laden ones from a few counties away.  Here are a few more resources that may be helpful: , , , , , , , ,


Sometimes I wish I were ignorant and just went to the store and was able to buy the cheapest of everything to feed my household.  The truth is irreversible once attained; I know what is best for my family’s situation and it happens to be a diet that contains the freshest fruit, vegetables, dairy, legumes, meats and then on to the grains, pastas and et cetera.  Making the conscious choice to use less canned products and other foods that contain more harmful ingredients in process/preservation means that our grocery bill is higher than it would be if I blindly chose based solely on cheap economics.  Not everyone thinks through what they buy when at the grocery store but it’s only a matter of time when many if not most of us will realize that how we eat is like a form of preventative medicine for our bodies.  The cost you may incur now can serve to defray future medical costs after years of eating products that can slowly sabotage your body’s ability to fight off infection and other illnesses.   Then there’s the question of the effect on our environment by our agricultural practices and that factors into many people’s choices of food economics.  Social impact in the form of “fair trade” practices is yet another factor weaving into our ethos as consumers of groceries for ourselves.  Some more websites for your personal research: , , , , , ,  , ,

This blog post is woefully inadequate in addressing all the various facets involved in the economic and social challenge we face in our food purchases as the commodity prices continue to rise on a monthly basis.  I hope it at least helps in starting a conversation or a journey for information as this is an issue that will continue to grow in importance as we face upcoming agricultural changes and trade practices that can affect both the quality and quantity of our food in America particularly.