Navigating Customs: Give Thanks
I received a thank you note this week. It was from a sweet girl who was about to become a bride and new wife. I loved its contents. It was specific to a gift I had given her and full of the details of her plans on how she would use it. Her hand-written words gave me a little peek into her life and into her heart. It was a special gift in the otherwise mundane envelopes found in my mailbox.
The funny thing about thank you notes is they usually come as a result of a blessing in someone else’s life. Their aim is to show gratitude to the gift giver. But what the giver receives wrapped up in a seemingly innocuous little message may actually be the best gift of all.
A lot is said about the reasons and benefits to writing thank you notes. Besides being the mannerly thing to do, grateful people have more energy, more optimism, more social connection, and more happiness. They are also less likely to be envious, greedy or depressed. Pretty good perks, I would say. But what about the recipient?
I can only speak for myself, but when I receive a note of gratitude, I feel valued. It says my effort and thought meant something, perhaps even brought a little enjoyment. And when words of appreciation are offered, it elevates my own joy level. I also allows me to share in all the benefits the writer experiences—energy, optimism, connection and happiness— which, in turn, breeds more generosity, perpetuating a cycle of goodness. I don’t know about you, but I think the world can use more of all these things. Giving thanks may actually be the gift that keeps on giving.
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy,
and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.