How often do we say, type, or write those two simple words?
As a young girl, my mother taught me the importance of writing a thank you note immediately after receiving a gift. I remember her specific guidance: "Never say, 'Thank you for your generous gift'". She explained that generalizations are not personal, nor do they convey sincere appreciation. Mom instructed me to be specific about what I am thankful for, which will indicate to the sender that I am well aware of exactly what he/she gave to me.
I recently read an article with a topic along this same vein. The author shared the importance of being grateful for what we have, and the positive impact we can have on others when we sincerely thank them for the ways they have blessed our lives. He went on to say that he set a goal of writing one thank-you note per day for a year.
As of this first day of January, 2012, I too have set a goal to handwrite one thank-you note per day. I am off to a good start, as the message I wrote today came easily...it was for a sweet gentleman who works at our local grocery store. For the past 7.5 years, he has remembered our names, taken the time to talk with me as I shop in the produce section, and exchanged birthday and holiday gifts. He is like family to me now, and today I thanked him for being a big reason why this community is now my home.
365 names may seem daunting (actually, 366, since 2012 is a Leap Year), but I think we will be surprised to realize that we have interacted with at least that many people throughout our lives so far. The size of the gift or the amount of impact we are thankful for doesn't matter; we just need to say, "Thank You".