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The lost art of saying Thank You

I just received one of the kindest notes a family could ever get.

Yep! Nine lines on a hand made card that included a self-drawn likeness of a dear friend. (Chuckle)

The message said, “God has impressed upon my heart today to be grateful and count my blessings. Since we’ve lived here you guys have been the most generous and helpful friends!! We are so blessed! Thank you for your friendship all these years!”

With just those few words my week, that had been overcast by the dreary weather and tainted a bit by the lingering symptoms of a winter cold, was transformed into an occasion to celebrate just being alive.

Now, to immediately dispel any kneejerk comments from the Gloomy Gus skeptics out there, this is in no way an attempt to draw praise or regard toward me.

To the contrary, I actually don’t believe I have really done anything to truly warrant such kind words.

I have never provided this person with any item of great value, loaned him money or provided some earthshaking service that could change any lives in his family.

Yes, he is probably the closest friend I have, but not in the manner many people might describe their own friends.

Due to work schedules, family commitments and the like, we don’t get a chance to “hangout” together a whole lot.

What we have had is 20-plus years of shared times, usually in the woods, with long conversations about almost every subject imaginable.

To me the remarkable thing is that when we see each other, even if it’s been weeks since our last meeting, I feel like we can pick up the conversation right where it left off.

We have both helped each other out over the years when the occasion arose, but that’s what friends do, Right?

All this explanation finally brings me to the real reason for this piece.

The joy and delight his note brought to my day is actually very hard to verbalize.

The fact that someone cared enough to take the time to sit down and write a heartfelt note changed my day and my attitude this week.

How many more folks could have their day brightened if only friends and family would take the time to, first, recognize the efforts of others and two, acknowledge (thank) them for their help.

Our society seems to be moving away from even common civility let alone a grateful reply to an act of courteousness.

Recently I experienced a situation where I held the door of the Post Office open for two folks that were exiting as I was going in.

The first person brushed by without a word and the second said, “Thank You” to which I responded, “You’re Welcome.”

Immediately the first individual stopped a few feet away, turned around and asked, “You got a problem?”

It took a moment, but it finally donned on me that he was upset because he though I was responding to his silent exit.

Even if he was correct in his “assumption,” what kind of a person gets upset with someone because he was rude to him or her?

One grandparent recently noted to me that they get quite frustrated when they mail gifts to grandchildren living in distant locations and they not only don’t get a thank you note, they don’t even get an acknowledgement that the package was received.

How about the neighbor down the street that borrows something from you, uses it for a couple of hours and then doesn’t return it for a week or two. When you call and tell them you need it they deposit the item on your porch or carport for you to find.

The fact that you were home all night doesn’t seem to elicit the idea that maybe they should let you know it’s back along with a quick “thanks.”

I just hope that we don’t become a society of people who forget all the things, big or small, that others do to help in our lives.

Whether it be by family, friends, acquaintances, or even community groups there are very few people in our community that haven’t had their lives positively affected by one of these.

The thoughtfulness of a simple “Thank You” can go a long way to brighten someone’s day.

As for my friend, I admit I feel a little ashamed for not having already expressed my own thanks for the pleasure of having you as a friend and confidant.

Thank You for the change you made in my week, your timing was perfect.

God Bless You!

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