A scorching hot take on why younger people say 'no problem' instead of 'you're welcome.'

Have you ever wondered why people don't seem to say “you're welcome" anymore?

Back in 2015, author and professor Tom Nichols tweeted out an angry response after receiving what he thought was poor customer service:

“Dear Every Cashier in America: the proper response to 'thank you' is 'you're welcome,' not 'no problem.' And *you're* supposed to thank *me*"


The angry tweet elicited a number of mocking responses from people on social media.

But eventually one person chimed in with a detailed and thoughtful response that just might give you pause the next time you or someone you know says, “no problem."

It's not about being polite. Our views on gratitude are evolving.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

In a response that is going viral on Reddit, on person writing under the name “lucasnoahs" laid it all out:

Actually the “you're welcome/no problem" issue is simply a linguistics misunderstanding. Older ppl tend to say “you're welcome," younger ppl tend to say “no problem." This is because for older people the act of helping or assisting someone is seen as a task that is not expected of them, but is them doing extra, so it's them saying, “I accept your thanks because I know I deserve it."


“No problem," however, is used because younger people feel not only that helping or assisting someone is a given and expected but also that it should be stressed that you're need for help was no burden to them (even if it was).

Basically, older people think help is a gift you give, younger people think help is an expectation required of them.

Nichols took a lot of flack for his comment. But the insightful response reveals something important about gratitude.

The thoughtful response from “lucasnoahs" doesn't apply to everyone. After all, there are certainly a lot of people of any age group for whom acts of kindness and gestures of gratitude are “no problem."

Still, his message conveys an important idea that doing well for others does not have to be a grand gesture. It can be a simple act -- and the additional act of letting someone know that it's really no problem helps relieve any potential sense of debt or guilt the person receiving the gesture might otherwise take on.

Most of the time, doing the right thing is indeed no problem. In fact, it might be the solution to a lot of the daily problems we grapple with.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.