Have you said thank you to those you always expect to be there?

posted in: CYJ Blog, Lifeskills, Reflection

(Best of Celebrating Your Journey – November 21, 2008)

To all my readers: With 2019, the 14th year of my Celebrating Your Journey blog articles, “From the Heart” byline, I will be offering the “Best of the Best” articles you found helpful through the years. Many thanks to everyone who have given input and followed along w/ each month’s lifeskill—Relationships/Core Values, Time Mgt, Career/Money Mgt, Recordkeeping, Possessions, Housekeeping, Wellness, Meals, Childcare, Recreation/ Entertainment, Reflection, and Celebration. For my new readers, may these lifeskill articles offer you encouragement, insight, and commitment to seek, reach, and achieve your life dreams and goals in synergy.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we typically think about expressing gratitude to our spouse, our children, our close relatives. And well we all should, gladly. Yet, what about those that serve us every day in our own communities? Do they ever get a thank you? Or just complaints? If you just ask any grocer, pharmacist, gas station employee, they will undoubtedly say thank you’s are few and far between all the complaints they routinely get.

Let’s change that this Thanksgiving season! Here’s your assignment for the rest of the year, particularly during the next couple weeks. Below, you will read a list of services we always take for granted…for example, that the gas station will be open, the pharmacist will have your prescription ready, and your grocer will have the produce and items you routinely buy.

I want to hear these people say they got an unusual number of sincere and genuine thank you’s that made their job serving you and the public much nicer this go around. Think about all the places you frequent and regularly buy goods and services. I am sure I haven’t covered them all. So, add any to the list of people to say thank you to. Write down this list on a separate piece of paper. If you know someone in particular, put their name down and the date you commit to saying a special thank you. Whether by word, deed, or gift, you will then see many more smiles this holiday season than ever before—in spite of what is going on in our nation.

We all know with our nation’s financial crisis looming over us all, it may not be easy to think about someone else—particularly someone who doesn’t always deliver your mail on time or at all, or those at the pharmacy who may lose your prescription. Yet, we have to remember that there are people inside that Valero or Chevron station, facilitating our ability to pump our own gas and maybe even get a cup of coffee on the go. And, by all means include the letter carrier. There is nothing like a kind word to someone who may not be doing exactly what you want, that will surprisingly move them in the right direction of responsibility and improved service to you and others. You may ask, “Why should I make the effort?” This is why.

As a nation, we are in the midst of a major move of negativity, anger (even rage), depression, fear, and doomsday talk. Although we must be wise in how to address our difficulties, we must never relinquish a hopeful heart toward the future and our treatment of other fellow human beings. One of the first steps is to treat others as you would like to be treated. Yes, here comes the Golden Rule again—and at a very timely moment in our nation’s history.

Begin to proactively engage in not only working to preserve your own livelihood, but also begin helping others who serve your needs and may even seek your help. It all begins with offering a kind word in compassion, understanding, and gratitude for their very presence as a living, breathing human being. So, rise up and say a thank you to even those who may not seemingly deserve it! Amazing things happen when you do.

Maybe this will even be your opportunity to reduce the number of gifts for yourself under the Christmas tree, and spend some on others that may just need a little more hope. They will then genuinely know someone was thinking about them, appreciates their service, and cares about what they are going through too. Remember, this is really not about you. It’s about that other person who goes to work every day so you can have the service (albeit, not always done well) you need.

If you take this to heart, you will be a very busy person over the next several weeks and months. But you will also be one of the happiest too…experiencing the joy of encouraging others and bringing hope to those special ones that are always taken for granted. If you personally experience something special you would like to share as you say your thank you’s, by all means email me so I can pass it along to my readers. Please, no complaints about their service on this one! Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

• Local Grocer
• Pharmacist
• Gas station employee
• School teacher and administrative staff
• City utilities and other services that bill you
• Nonprofits that make all the difference
• Car repair person
• Veterinarian
• Your doctor, nurse, massage therapist, nutritionist, any healthcare/wellness provider you know
• Restaurant owner, server, cook/chef, even fast-food servers
• Health food store owner
• Insurance agent
• Discount clothing store you frequent
• Gift shops you routinely visit
• Bank clerk
• Post office personnel, letter carrier
• Video store clerk
• Telephone, Internet server representatives
• Gardener
• Parks & Recreation people that make it possible to enjoy the outdoors
• Police, Firefighters
• Artists in all media—visual, performing, literary
• Directors, Staff, and Volunteers of Cultural centers—museums, theatre
• And, don’t forget your neighbors, for sure!