|Photo courtesy of: Quadell|
How many times have you heard or read the words ‘thank you’ this week? Better yet, how many times a day do you say, write, or type ‘thank you’? Probably hundreds. It is one of the first phrases babies learn how to say and one that we never stop using.
Originating in the late 18th century, Thank You is a shortened version of the courteous exchange ‘I Thank You.’ Because it is so common, we have mastered the art of capturing many different meanings within these two words. Thank you can be laced with sarcasm, a way to make someone feel bad for not doing what you expected them to do, or a flippant end to an email. For instance, many establishments print the words on the front of the trash can (like the one shown above) to encourage patrons to take action.
Keep Your Thank You’s Fresh
This is not to say that Thank You doesn’t still go a long way. In fact, not receiving a thank you is one of the top gripes I hear from people both personally and professionally. People are busy, overextended and, due to social media and access to more world news, managing more information and relationships than ever. Helping someone else out or going out of your way can be risky to your own resources – whether that’s time, energy, or money.
Rather than eliminate thanks, it makes sense to assess your thanks. There is no win to stale thank you’s. In a compelling and unexpected lesson from my friend’s son, I was reminded of how good it feels when you receive a sincere word or act of appreciation.
Like a Vegetable
|Photo Courtesy of Nycole Perez. © Dylan Perez, April 14, 2012. All rights reserved.|
My friend, Nycole, received this letter (above) from her son for her birthday. In the letter, he describes his thanks and love in great detail. He uses examples to set her apart from other people and then other moms. He also talks about the impact he has on her life each day. The candor moved her to tears. At one point in the letter he compares her love and care to a vegetable, “you are real good to me like a vegetable honestly.”
Although all of our thank you’s cannot be as detailed or as heartfelt – they should be genuine. That is the first step to keeping your thank you’s fresh. Do you have any examples of how you have expressed a thank you in a fresh way? Or, received a genuine expression of appreciation from someone? If so, please share: