Two syllables, yet so hard for some people to say.
Everyone knows you don't (shouldn't) give to expect something in return. What we all should know though, is that saying thank you should come as an automatic response to so many situations. Case in point:
A man held the door open for me and let me walk through the door first at a busy restaurant, I said thank you. He said, "Well you sure are welcome" as if it surprised him that I thanked him. In return, and because it was appropriate, I let him put his name on the wait list first. He said, "That was really nice of you, thank you" and there in a matter of less than a minute, two thank you's were swapped, good feelings were had by all. So Simple.
From the very onset of my life I can remember my mom teaching us the importance of a thank you. Any holiday or birthday where gifts were exchanged, we had a list of who gave us what so that we could properly thank them afterwards. That has carried on into my adult life and something I would instill in my children had I had any.
It's such a small gesture with such a large impact. So why is it so hard?
This post comes from something that happened recently, or that has happened repeatedly for years now. I am not going to give specifics, but I feel shafted by someone. Someone I have given to secondhandedly (not a word, but you get it) for years that I don't believe has ever thanked me once. Again, not an expectation, but it got me thinking/wondering if this person really is thankful or is just so used to being the receiver rather than the giver, that it doesn't even cross their mind to be thankful. It's mind boggling to me really.
Think of the last time you received a genuine thank you in the mail. Didn't it make you feel great? So why not say thank you more often? It doesn't have to be in receipt of a gift, but maybe just a heartfelt thank you for: being a great friend, parent, sibling.... Maybe it is for a gesture of kindness, act of selflessness, or just for the hell of it. It would turn a bad day good and a good day great for sure, I guarantee it.
So I challenge you. Send one thank you per week to someone you know. It may not make a world of difference, but it may just brighten the day of someone you know. Do you accept this challenge?