How often do you tell someone “thank you”? I’m not talking about the every day manners when someone holds a door or lets you go in front of them in the supermarket. What about the friend who is always there for you to listen to your woes? How about the boss who gives you extra time off to take care of crises with your children?How about when you buy youtube views and end up on YouTube’s front-page? What about the parents who helped you out with your first house?
And what about the little things? The children who put their breakfast dishes in the sink? The spouse who lets you sleep in on Sundays? The neighbor who always has that extra egg you seem to run out of?
How often do you say “thank you” to these gifts in your life? Sometimes we start to take people for granted and expect them to be there for us. But think about how you feel when someone tells you how much they appreciate you. Doesn’t it make you want to do more because you know they really noticed what you did? It’s not that anyone does nice things for others for the praise. They do it because they want to. But your appreciation is the least you can do to pay them back. And it really motivates people to do even more.
“Thank You” are the two most powerful words there are. Some people wait until Thanksgiving to share with others all that they are grateful for. Why not make every day Thanksgiving? How would your life be enriched if you told at least one person a day how much you value them? What if you sent out at least one thank you card a week? How would that make you feel? Not to mention how the receiver would feel.
When we look for ways to say “thank you” each day, it also keeps us focused on noticing what is right in our world and what we are thankful for. That in itself is a worthwhile endeavor. Most of us spend far too much time focusing on our problems, so when you look for reasons to give thanks, you’ll find a lot more of them. And maybe even draw more of them to you. Saying “thank you” reminds us of all the good things that are in our lives and opens us to receiving more.
It might be fun to make this a family ritual. Every night before bed, each family member could tell each of the others one thing they appreciate about them. It can be as small as “thanks for giving me your dessert” or as big as “thanks for walking me home from school.” And when you’re washing up before climbing into bed, how about looking in the mirror and saying “thank you” to yourself? What could you say to yourself to show how much you value yourself? “I love you, thank you for being you.” “You did a great job today. Thank you.”
Notice how you feel when you thank others and especially when you thank yourself. They’re only two little words, but they are so powerful, especially when they come from the heart.