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Heartfelt “thank yous” are underrated. Notice I’m specifying plural gratitudes. And emphasizing genuine.
My wife and I were taught to be generous and be thankful, perhaps to the point of excess. This is a lesson we’ve emphasized and exhibited for our children, Mikkel and Lex, and will certainly show to our granddaughter, Reagan. But it seems we are not in the majority on this. Far too often now I’ve noticed:
One of the things I’ve done religiously over the years to build relationships is to give genuine, uniquely targeted, timely thank-yous. If I’m treated to something, I take the person aside, look him or her in the eye, hold a hand, arm or shoulder and thank them for the sacrifice they made to include me (or us). And that’s not the end of it.
Before I leave the area, or if I’m home the next day, I write a personalized thank-you note to the person, using a design targeted to her or him, and following the three rules of a successful thank-you:
My mom recently turned 88 years old, and she is in the autumn of her life. I posted something on Facebook about her fighting to get out of the hospital and be back home to be with her little dog, Sugar Baby. The photo showed the dog in her lap and in the foreground an award she had been given for 25 years of service at the local hospital. This post led to a flood of online best wishes, fond memories and recognition. Of the hundreds she received, the ones that meant the most were hand-written and very specific.
We all need to be caught doing something right, to be thanked a little. In fact, we need that little a lot.
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