When I was growing up, my mother and father placed a high premium on being grateful. They taught me that it cost absolutely nothing to show thankfulness to someone who has done something for you. And, although it costs nothing to show appreciation to others, in the long run it pays rich dividends not only in your own life, but also in the life of the person to whom you are expressing gratitude.
Every time I ever got a birthday present or Christmas present from anyone in my family, my parents encouraged me to write them a thank you note. I remember one time moaning and groaning and whining and complaining to my parents that it was so hard to write everybody thank you notes. I can still remember my father looking at me and saying, “Robert, if they took the time to go out and spend their hard-earned money to buy you a present, you can take five minutes to write them a thank you note to show that you are grateful. They cared enough to do something nice for you,. It won’t kill you to show a little gratitude!” Well, I didn’t have much of an argument to come back with. And, after all these years, I still do not have much of a come back concerning that thought. It is simply the truth. If someone takes the time to do something nice for you, then what is wrong with taking a few minutes to write them a thank you note?
Recently I was sharing this thought with someone and they encouraged me to write a Tip about this very issue. They said that writing thank you notes was something that we were all taught to do years ago but somehow, over time, that art has gotten lost.
I realize that all of us are busy. I realize too, that it takes time to find someone’s address, buy a stamp, and write the note. But, think about this for a minute. When was the last time you got a hand-written thank you note from someone? Didn’t it make you feel good? Didn’t it make you feel special? Didn’t it make you feel glad that they acknowledged your act of kindness?
Now, I am not talking about you having your secretary or a friend write thank you notes for you and then you simply signing them. I am talking about you actually taking the time to write the note yourself. Believe me, it does something to you when you go through that process. You may be saying, “I am no author so I don’t know how to write thank you notes.” If that is your attitude then I have only one thing to say to you, “Give me a break!”
I realize that others of you may be saying, “Well, I don’t give gifts in order to get thank you notes. I give gifts because of the pure pleasure it gives me.” I totally agree with you. I think it is a wonderful, joyful feeling to be generous in giving someone something. And, if the only reason you are giving a gift is so that you will receive a thank you note, I would say your motive is wrong. On the other hand, when you send a thank you note, you receive the blessing of knowing what it means to be truly grateful to the person who did something nice for you.
We live in a fast-paced world and all of us have more to do than is reasonable…and sometimes even possible. Let me encourage you to buy a box of thank you notes and a roll of stamps and keep them handy. It means a lot to give a gift, but I believe it means almost as much to show gratitude for it. It takes such a small amount of effort but pays big dividends in someone else’s life as well as your own. I know of no better way to show your appreciation towards someone who has done something nice for you than with thank you notes. Go ahead, make someone day special!
Tip: Write thank you notes!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm
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