This morning I received a thank you card from my sister in law for her birthday present and a night out we arranged. I also received a thank you text from a friend, thanking me for my thank you letter having attended his 50th birthday party. At Christmas and birthdays I write thank you letters and I make my children do the same. To me, thank you is an important word ( or two if you're being pedantic here)
I am also aware of the thank you cards I do not receive.I have never received a thank you note from certain young relatives and probably never will.I don't suppose it really matters hugely in the great scheme of life ... but to me it does.
Saying thank you is something that my parents ingrained into me.Whether it was thank you for my tea, thank you for opening the door, thank you for my present. As a child I spent many a Boxing Day at the kitchen table, with my two brothers and sister,writing letters to aunts, uncles, grannies and grandads. At the time I hated it and I hated my mum for making us do it.I realise now, however, that it was a good idea.
The text I received this morning talked of good manners and kindness. Both my brother and I had written to thank our friend for our big night out and he had really appreciated our thoughts.He spoke of the way both his parents and ours had brought us up to say thank you and to appreciate the kindness of others.I felt quite emotional, because, before now, I had not really thought too much about it.Writing or calling to thank people for things was something I did/do as a matter of course.But he is right.
Saying thank you is more than just a courtesy. It is a sign of real appreciation of another person's thoughtfulness.It is a sign that you care enough to have sat down and written a letter, an e-mail. You have appreciated whatever they have done for you and want them to know that their thought has not been taken for granted.It forms a connection between people that strengthens friendships and deepens understanding and trust.
My children may hate me now for making them write thank you letters, but they will thank me when they are older - maybe by letter!