DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Nov 17 2017

The Power Of Thanks

by Camille B

Thank you cardHave you ever gotten an unexpected thank you that came out of nowhere and from the unlikeliest of persons? It gives you a good feeling doesn’t it?

If you were “raised right” then you know the importance of a thank you. You grew up practicing good manners and used your thank yous at all the appropriate times: after receiving a gift or compliment, when someone lets you cut in front of them at the grocery store, even when you hear the words bless you after you sneeze.

But even though these are great instances to use them, they are also expected by the other person and can sometimes seem almost mechanical. A totally random thank you can be a truly genuine surprise for someone and make their day just a little more meaningful.

According to an article in Psych Central, saying thank you is more than just good manners, it can improve physical health, strengthen social relationships, produce positive emotional states and help us cope with stressful times in our lives.

As we approach the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, I encourage you to purposely be on the look out for opportunities to drop a thank you into someone else’s life. I promise you won’t have to look very far. Even if it was a favor or kind gesture done a while back that you’ve been meaning to say thank you for but haven’t gotten around to yet, go ahead and do it already. These are just a few examples:

Call your parents. I know, you’re probably thinking well duh. But we’re not talking about for something obvious that they did like watching the kids so you could run to the store or helping to fix the brakes on your car, that’s a given. Call them up on a Wednesday, in the middle of the week, just to let them know how much you appreciate everything they do for you.

Scroll through the contact list of your phone and find those friends and family members you really appreciate, for whatever contribution they’ve made to your life, and send them a thank you text or email.

Say thank you to someone who went above and beyond their duty and didn’t think anybody had noticed. But you did.

Send a thank you to your child’s teacher who goes above and beyond, giving that extra for your child even when they don’t have to. Send him or her a handmade note of gratitude.

Service people. We often hear the saying, well it’s a thankless job, but somebody’s got to do it. A thanks goes a long way to remind people that what they do matters to someone else. The waitress, the mailman or UPS delivery guy, the barista at the Starbucks, the receptionist at the dentist’s office and yes, even the girl at the McDonald’s window who is frazzled by the line of cars around the building and forgot to put pickles on your McDouble.

The custodian at your workplace or church. Sometimes  we’re so used to having a clean, shiny workplace that we take it for granted and forget that somebody works diligently every day to keep it looking that way. Let them know how much you appreciate what they do to enable you to have a pleasant environment to work in.

Your best friend who always has your back. Call them up and thank them for putting up with you and all of your moods.

Your spouse who  also has your back and puts up with you and all of your moods. Let them know that the days aren’t always sunny ones but you’re glad that they’re in it and appreciate all that they do.

Your siblings, children,  grandparents, coworker, boss, pastor, priest, teacher, the list goes on and on. Yes, some  of them are paid to do the job they do, but it’s a service they provide for us that we cannot provide for ourselves. We can show we are grateful that they can.

Even if you’re not a person of many words or are awkward with conversation, you can still buy a card or make a nice thank you note (signed of course, you don’t want to freak people out). You can mail, hand deliver or leave it where the recipient can find it during the course of the day.

In the busyness of the Thanksgiving hustle and bustle, when people tend to be a little more stressed and harried with shopping, travel and meal preparations, let us remember now more than ever to say thank you to others so that they know just how much we value them and what they do for us.

Book Cover



Thank You Notes: 40 homemade ways to show you’re grateful– Jan Stephenson, Kelly & Amy Appleyard



Book 2



101 ways to say thank you: notes of gratitude for all occasions– Kelly Browne




{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

RGRANT November 28, 2017 at 2:27 PM

I always enjoy reading your blogs. There is so much to be thankful for!

Veronica W. November 29, 2017 at 11:15 AM

Lovely. My mother taught us “Always thank people for anything they do for you because they didn’t have to do it.” Thank YOU for reminding us.

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