A lost art
April 16, 2014 § 9 Comments
When I was growing up, thank you notes were non-negotiable. After every birthday party, my mom sat us down with a writing pad and a list of the presents we’d received, and we wrote proper thank you letters to friends and family members who’d spoilt us.
It wasn’t good enough to say, “Dear Uncle James, thank you for the book.” It had to be a proper letter, at least a page and a couple of paragraphs long. But somehow, in a world of texts and typing, we’ve lost the art of writing letters, and thank you letters in particular.
But there were five people I needed to thank, so I sat down to write. And a funny thing happened.
Just like forgiveness – which frees the the forgiver, not the forgiven – I found that the act of expressing gratitude was an enormously uplifting exercise for me.
It’s so easy to just say “thank you” and leave it at that. To be general, yet grateful, and hope that will do. But if you sit down and get specific, if you try to unpack why you appreciate someone, you are left with a sense of awe and wonder at the extraordinary people who inhabit your life. And your heart smiles.
Or at least, mine does.