It seems I am not the only one who values handwritten communication. Last night on the CBS nightly News, journalist Steve Hartman investigated the prevalence of thank you notes written in the internet age. Despite many occasions to do so (weddings, interviews, random acts of kindness) most people do not send written “thank yous.” I personally wrote three thank you notes this week, but I have a feeling I am an anomaly. The act of writing a thank you note is intimidating, but it is the sentiment that is most important.
Many people think that the wording has to be perfect, and this causes so much anxiety that the notes are never sent. Before all the other rules, just remember that an imperfect note that comes with heartfelt sentiment is better than a perfect note that was never written.
Three years ago, author John Kralik did not have a fulfilling life.
“I wasn’t that grateful of a person,” said Kralik. “I wasn’t noticing the good things that happened to me each day. I wasn’t noticing the good people I was encountering every day.”
To change this Kralik took up thanking people in written form. He thanked all of the people in his life including his daughter’s piano teacher and the woman at Starbucks who always remembered his name. The notes gave Kralik a profound intrinsic feeling and those he sent them to appreciated the effort. The effort was so successful that Kralik turned his experience into a book, 365 Thank Yous.
Well, I guess my opportunity to turn this project into a book is not unique after all. Regardless, I can only hope that my experience will be as successful as Kralik’s, and that I too will learn the same kind of gratitude.
Don’t be intimidated to write your own perfect thank you notes, NPR has some great advice about how to do so HERE. Good luck!