I’ve become fond of saying that writing actual letters and putting them in the mailbox is a lost art. Modern technology has advanced speedy forms of communication such as phone calls, text messages, email, tweets and wall posts. While I’m grateful for these ways to keep in touch, I still believe that a tangible handwritten letter or card is the most valuable form of communication.
Some of my most favorite correspondences are Thank You cards. I keep a lot of them, no matter how small or large, simply because they remind me that at some point, someone was grateful for me or for something I did.
I’ve noticed that when I walk into some people’s offices, they display their degrees or other tokens of recognition or accomplishment. These “ego walls” are meant to boost the honoree’s self esteem or to prove to those visiting their offices that they’re walked into the presence of greatness. While I have proudly displayed my Diploma from the University of Georgia (on my bedroom wall), I can’t say it’s what boosts my self esteem. What reminds me of my own worth are the letters from kids thanking me for spending time with them, cards thanking me for being a good friend or notes from colleagues thanking me for sacrificing time and sharing energy to advance certain projects. They mean a lot.
It’s easy to neglect those two words that are not used enough. You never know what a person is going through at any moment in time, but the words “Thank You,” when used sincerely, can never hurt. And it doesn’t hurt to also mention what it is that you’re thankful for.