A thing called: “Thank You”
We’re told as children to say thank you. Our parents drum it into us and I think it’s safe to say it almost becomes a reflex. But this concept of acknowledging appreciation for one another has become something of a concern to me. It seems to also be safe to say, as we get older saying “thank you” becomes harder for us.
Now, I’m not talking about those two words exactly. It’s easy to say “thanks“. It’s one syllable. I’m thinking a little deeper than that. I think sometimes we take it for granted that people know we appreciate them and what they do. But I’m not entirely sure we actually do know how much others value us. Recently I was at a baby shower when my friend, at the end, gave me a little bag with a card and a gift. I was like “What’s this?!” She just wanted to show she appreciated what I had done to help her, yet I had done it without ever once thinking “I wonder if she’ll thank me.” In fact I was really blown away at her gesture! I knew she’d appreciate what I did to help but it meant a lot to me that she went above and beyond a simple two worded phrase.
Often we do things for one another just because actually, it makes us feel good. So we don’t really expect them to thank us. But it’s deeply encouraging when those who benefit from your kindness turn around and show it. Saying thank you is one thing. Saying “I hope you know how much that meant to me” takes it slightly deeper. Words of affirmation always does. But to really go all out, when opportunities arise we can go even further and show our appreciation for one another though acts of service, gifts, quality time… That’s when I think people really know they’re valued. I think it’s really cool when someone out of the blue says to me: “Hey remember that time… Well, I still think about it and it still means a lot.” I have this friend that out of no where… she just went and bought me a brand new iPod. I think I had a mini heart attack because it was so out the blue and I didn’t know how to respond. I think for the most part we don’t always know how to respond to extravagant generosity. And I wonder if that’s partly why acknowledging our appreciation can be hard to do. I’m still learning. I mean, I get really shy and feel really awkward when I go to someone’s house for dinner and thank them for the meal! It’s bizarre!
We say we don’t do things in return for anything else… But I think we’re kidding ourselves. No one can press forward doing things for others if there is no appreciation. And I hate to break it to you… I don’t believe simply saying “thank you” is actually enough for any of us in life.