“I think that 99% of people FORGET the effect that they can have on people with just a simple show of gratitude”
–Daniel DiPiazza, IM conversation 5/25/14
When I started this list item, I was thinking about myself. This goal was going to miraculously fix my ungrateful, complaining attitude. I would become a grateful person. I would know that I shared my grateful thoughts with people who matter to me, to prevent me from feeling guilty in case something bad happened to any of them. I would single-handedly save the US Post Office from bankruptcy. Just kidding. But I have mailed a lot of cards.
All that doesn’t mean that my words and feelings that I sent to people were lies. I meant every word, and I still do. I also still think it’s important to tell people the good things you think about them, especially considering we don’t know when things are going to happen, and we really don’t give enough positive feedback to the people who matter to us.
I knew that sharing those words would probably make other people feel good, but I didn’t expect to receive the feedback I did. Some people sent cards back to me. Their responses came when I was having bad days and cheered me up. They came when I was having good days and made them better. Even just a simple “thanks for the card” text makes me feel good because words make a difference. And that was the story everyone was telling me too: my grateful words made a difference in their day.
This goal has also helped me reconnect with friends who I haven’t talked to in a while, and it’s been very fun to get to know what’s happening in their lives and to hear about their current joys and struggles, and to share mine, so we can go through them together. The thank you notes have started conversations of gratitude, and I have to admit, sometimes it’s difficult to allow myself to accept thank you’s in return. Accepting gratitude takes humility.
I am grateful for the effect that other people’s gratitude has had on my life during this time, and I’m looking forward to the remaining 8 days. I can’t wait to see the impact they will have!
Resource (3 minute TED talk):
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