It started when you were a kid. Please and thank you, the magic words. You were being taught that these small tokens of good manners will get you what you want. More so than bad manners, or a lack of manners at all.
And when we grow up we come to understand that it is not just about what we can do for ourselves, but also what we can do for others. That how we act toward another person is how we make them feel.
Think about the power of that. How such a simple thing has the potential to influence the way we make people see themselves and also us. As the writer Maya Angelou famously said,
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Let me ask you a question…
Go back to the last time somebody took the effort to call or write or stop by to offer, in return, a personal and heartfelt thank you for something that you did. I hope that it won’t take too much rattling your brain to remember such an occasion. Now I want you to consider how this made you feel. Did it make you happy? Did it leave you with a greater fondness for the well mannered thanker? Did it make you want to do more for them based purely on their gratitude? Did it make you want to do more for other people too?
Imagine how these words, if used well, could change the dynamic of your workplace, your family, your relationship, your friendships. Imagine how it could change the day of a kind stranger whom may have troubles that you will never know. Imagine how it would change yourself.
This is the power of thank you.
And in our fast paced, contactless, machine driven age, there is more value in your time than ever. Stop. Give some of that time and effort to someone who has given you theirs. An actual phone call, a visit, a gesture of heart and time and consideration that lasts. Not an email but a letter. Not a text but a handwritten card.
Don’t let your thank you’s become lost when the browser closes or the text stream rolls on.
Make them beautiful, powerful. Make them often. Make them magic again.
Article written by Michelle Edwards