#RPGaDay2021 – Day 31 – Thank

With today’s prompt of ‘thank,’ #RPGaDay2021 comes to an end for another year. If you posted, thank you. You may have drawn attention to something forgotten, something new, something vibrant, or something fading away. You may have added your voice to many, or you may have been the lone voice singing praises in the wilderness. Whether you posted positively about your experiences with roleplaying games a few times, or once, or made it most or even all of the way through the event, know that you have contributed threads to the global and multi-lingual tapestry of posts.

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If Newton had worked for Hallmark, I think it is probable that he would have added an appendix to the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica on giving thanks. As can often be noted at awards banquets and during celebratory speeches, the act of thanking seems to involve – almost like a natural law – leaving others unthanked. In a vacuum of thanks, all are equal, but in the creation of the thanked, we also create the unthanked. Likewise, a blanket thank you or the all-inclusive ‘thanks, everyone’ hose method, dilutes the thanking to the point where it is scarcely detectable. It becomes the knee-jerk ‘blesshoo’ at a sneeze – nothing more than a trained and ingrained habit with no meaning or sincerity. However, such natural phenomena should not deter us from doing what must be done!

Being thanked feels good, especially when it comes as a surprise and its arrival lights up an area of our hearts and minds where the truth of our efforts were hiding away to protect ourselves from not being thanked. If we can’t see that effort, and how it should be recognized, watered, and fed to keep up its strength, then it cannot hurt us (much) when none of that happens.

Being beings capable of empathy, it isn’t too much of a stretch to imagine that this might hold true for others – that we might all have dark places where we hide an ‘attaboy!’-shaped hole or two.

The Enemy

The enemy, like the hydra, has many heads and each bears a venom effective in its battle against expressing our thanks. One head is Waiting-for-the-right-moment, and its venom causes us to not recognize the moment until it has passed. Another head is Not-knowing-what-to-say, and its venom causes us to say nothing. Another head is They-know-we-appreciate-them and its venom dulls our empathy to the point of taking our friends for granted – maybe further. Still another head is We-all-had-fun and its venom is particularly potent as it reigns in and mutes our appreciation for everyone involved, not just the friends who contributed a lot to the current session. Yet another is agile and stealthy in its approach. Called What-about-me? its venom goads us into measuring all other contributions to play as being less than our own and lengthens our memory for our own deeds while shortening it for those of others. The hydra is the destroyer of fun through its war on sharing thanks. Worse, like any other hydra, more heads can spring up if we manage under ill-advised tactics to cut some off. Each is different, devious, and deadening. We can only beat the hydra by playing by rules we learned before we encountered it.

We go for the heart.

We think a moment and we thank people for what they have done that we appreciate.

And, as I know some of you are thinking, If we find nothing to appreciate…?

Well, that is a sign of venom at work, isn’t it?

It’s a sign!

One of the ways I recognize people that I might enjoy gaming with is that they are vocal in their appreciation of other people’s characters. At the end of the session, they have something to say about what someone’s character did, or how an action or tough decision was described. They have words of support or encouragement for the GM, and the date for the next session is in their calendar in pen. Not just this, but also when they themselves are thanked for their contributions, they light up for a moment – and that isn’t always easy for people.

In Our Play

Thank YOU

For those of you who have followed along this month and past years of #RPGaDay, please accept my thanks for stopping by to read these thoughts on the prompts. If you also took part in the event, thank you for that as well. I hope that you found it to be fun and of worth~

8 Responses to “#RPGaDay2021 – Day 31 – Thank”
  1. Thank You for all 31 days

  2. There are ways to show thanks without saying thanks.

  3. Corey Morine says:

    Wonderful perspective and thoughts on how to live a good life! Thank you for posting and thank you for everything you do in the community! You are an inspiration, a muse, a thought provoker, a leader and a good friend to many.
    *Do you mind if I do a reading of this on my youtube channel? bluespruce786@gmail.com

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