Sometimes I wish I lived many years ago, when times were just simpler (or at least they appeared to be). When life had a slower pace and the ways of the world were a bit different. Call me old-fashioned if you want to…
One of the ways that you might consider me “old-fashioned” is in regards to thank-yous and showing gratitude. I am a HUGE proponent of thank-yous, but especially written thank you cards. You might disagree. Some of my close friends do. You might think a verbal thank-you is just fine. Or posting something on Facebook. You might even think it’s a waste of time and money because they get tossed in the trash. I get your argument, I really do. But I still disagree and here’s why.
In my world, any thank-you can go a LONG way. A verbal thank-you or one on social media can mean a lot, don’t get me wrong. But we live in a pretty selfish world these days where people seem to be looking out for themselves more and just expect people to do things for them. I am selfish at times too, and most definitely not perfect, but I really try to go out of my way to do nice things for others because that’s how I’d want to be treated.
When someone acknowledges it with a written thank-you, it’s just more special to me. A written thank-you means the person took the time to write their thoughts down and send it. Good old-fashioned mail is becoming extinct besides bills and junk mail. But when you get an unexpected card in the mail, how does it make you feel? Especially when it’s not an expected birthday or Christmas card.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t do things for others just to get a thank-you. But when you get a written thank-you, it means that that person appreciated you enough to take the time to write down their thoughts, send it, and add a smile to your day because you had added a smile to theirs. This happened recently to me with a committee I was on, kind words I said to a friend and a party that I threw. All those written cards were unexpected but are still on my fridge. When I’m having a bad day, or just exhausted with the busyness of life, it’s a great reminder that others do appreciate my actions and words.
If I’m this touched, I can only hope others are as well. Yes, of course, thank-yous are important for gifts that people might bestow on our family at holidays or birthdays, but they are important for other times as well. Sending a thank-you to Grandma and Grandpa for babysitting the kids for a date night. Or a friend who loaned you an item. Or a neighbor who played with your kids while you were doing some yardwork. These are the things I want to instill in my kids. That they need to say thanks all along the way, not just for the big things in life. As soon as they can write, they’ll be sending their own. You can bet on that!
So I give you a challenge this Thanksgiving season, and in the year to come. Next time you are at the dollar store, pick up a pack of thank-you cards and some stamps. Send them to people who help in your life. Make their day special.
And thanks Mom, for teaching me from little on the value of a thank-you card.