The Lost Art of the Thank You Note

August 2, 2017

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I remember when I was a little boy how excited I was to run out and get the mail from the mailbox every day just to see if there was anything in it for me. I can still remember the joyous feeling I had when a new Highlights magazine came or someone sent me a birthday card. Now, however, it seems that getting the mail is just another one of those mundane necessities of being an adult. Usually what comes in the mail is just a mixture of advertisements and bills. I think that’s probably one of the reasons why people like shopping on the Internet so much. Sure it’s convenient, but how about that feeling you get when something comes in the mail that’s not a bill?

Over the past few years I’ve hosted and facilitated several service opportunities that needed volunteers to make them successful. Folks always seemed to step in and help, many in ways I would have never guessed. After these events I frequently feel compelled to thank those people that really made a difference. What’s the best way to do that? I could send them an email or maybe a text message. Despite the overwhelmingly pervasive nature of the digital age, I have found it is most effective to send a simple “Thank You” note. I know it seems to be a bit old-fashioned, but a handwritten card seems to show someone more appreciation than a brief text message.

A few years ago I was given a stock of custom made cards to use. I’ve just worked my way through the the cards sending them out as folks caught my attention with their willingness to go above and beyond. When I ran out of cards that I felt were suitable for men, I ran out to my local Target to grab some more. What I found was an entire aisle dominated by pastel colors, cursive fonts, flowers, puppy dogs, and polka-dots. I quickly realized that men must not write thank-you cards very often. You might be reading this thinking “Yep, that’s me. I don’t know that I’ve ever sent someone a Thank You card.” Then read on, this encouragement is for you today.

Remember that feeling I mentioned in the beginning; the feeling of getting something special in the mail? What if you could be the reason someone else gets to feel that? Not only that but if you’ve ever received heartfelt and sincere appreciation from someone else you know how great of a feeling that is. Everyone likes to be thanked for a job well done so the card doesn’t have to be fancy or filled with poetry. It just has to be handwritten and from the heart. In my experience receiving that kind of card elicits the kind of joy we all yearn for. In this fast paced world that somedays seems to be heading towards chaos and darkness, join me in reviving the lost art of “Thank You.” I believe we can make the world a little brighter one card at a time.

So…who are you going to thank today?


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