The Saving Grace of a “Thank You”

I’ve spoken of this before, but really–can we ever say “thank you” enough? I get that people are busy, that free time is rare and that there are often more demands on everyone than is healthy. But seriously, how much effort does it take to say “thank you?”

There is a dearth of thanks in these busy times, and we are starting to see the consequences; civil unrest, disassociation with other humans, lack of gratitude, general hopelessness and the constant, gnawing feeling that all the work we do is largely ignored and unappreciated. It isn’t healthy, and we are suffering from it.

As usual, the only way I can see it is from my own point of view. I seem to have developed this Pavlov’s dog reaction to say ‘thank you’ too many times, but it’s become a habit I do not want to break.

It just seems easier to thank people than to ignore them; if someone so much as holds a door for someone, isn’t that a reason to thank them? Ask yourself this: how does it make you feel when you go out of your way to help someone and they don’t even acknowledge it? How does it make you feel when you go out of your way to help someone and they thank you?

That latter exchange makes for good feelings for both the giver and the receiver–the giver gives, the receiver acknowledges the gift and thanks the giver. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. Everyone goes away happy.

Speaking only for myself and the company for which I work (part-time), things hum along at a fast pace. The focus is rightly on excellence of product and stellar service for the customers, and when the crunch time comes, everything is pushed into warp speed. There is no time to answer email questions; if you need answers ASAP, then you do it on *shanks’ mare. For my small part of the process in producing manuals for shipments, I have to get up in everyone’s business to get the answers I need. I push, I needle, I beg, I even bribe (chocolate and coffee, mostly) to get what I need to finish the manuals.

Since I absolutely depend on those answers from the right people, I always thank them because 1) they make my job easier, and 2) they may be more likely to help me again if I treat them well.

I also think that a ‘thank you’ is a little grace note that lingers gently on the ear. It may possibly be the one thing in someone’s day that makes them a bit happier before they go to sleep. I know it does for me; I can say to myself, ‘well, I goofed up a few things today, but at least I could help one person–and they said ‘thank you!’

It’s this lifetime accumulation of little moments, tiny shimmering shards of happiness, small in-drawn breaths of appreciation that add up to a life that confirms itself over and over again–‘yes! I am supposed to be here at this time and place.’

Small grace indeed, but huge over a lifetime.

*Shanks’ mare – walking. In this case, it means I put a lot of miles in during work hours to track down the answers I need. Not complaining–I get paid for this AND I get a work-out!


2 thoughts on “The Saving Grace of a “Thank You”

  1. D.B. Moone says:

    Thank you for reminding us of the value of a simple “thank you.”

  2. pamkirst2014 says:

    “Tiny shimmering shards of happiness”…just love that, Lulu. And I agree wholeheartedly, and would add that a return to the written thank you note, for gifts and wonderful service and out-of-the-ordinary gestures of kindness, is definitely also in order. Great post!

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