Handwritten Notecards—An Attitude of Gratitude

As 2011 was moving out and the 2012 was moving in, Lorraine Ball and I were taking our weekly long walk on the Monon discussing and solving all the problems of the world or at least our world.  The topic of people saying thank you came up.  Lorraine has been interviewing people for a position in her company and she noted that no one sent any kind of a thank you message to her or her team for the time taken.  Her question was, “Whatever happened to the simple Thank You Note?”

The art of the handwritten note card, is a lost art that hardly anyone knows how to do or why they should. Emails notes and cards are cheaper, easier and faster, and at least that is better than nothing at all. But there is something special about that small little handwritten card that shows up in your mail. The moment you see it you know that it is usually good news, and not the typical bill or crap mail you usually get.

There was a time that it was just common courtesy to send a thank you card to someone who had done you a kindness. It was a simple act of gratitude. Today people barely say thank you let alone write it out in a note card. I am always so happy when I get a note from someone, it makes me feel appreciated, it tells me that I make a difference or that I have contributed in some small way to another. I keep the cards that I get throughout the year on a board in my office and when I feel discouraged or just need a boost, I can look at the board and know that there are people out there that appreciate me and the work I do. It is such a positive reminder of who I am in the world.

Sending thank you notes or just a simple “Hi How Are You” Note is also an excellent strategy to have when you are trying to stay in touch with your network and the people you meet regularly.  The handwritten note is a great way to stand out from the crowd.

On a recent television show, one of the human interest shows, they did a segment on the handwritten note. I was shocked and amazed! I watched with great interest, after all in this age of technology in communication, this was astounding. The segment was excellent, and they interviewed this man, John Kralik, who has written an entire book on the simple act of sending out cards and how it has changed his life. See, not only does your kindness of a card make a difference to the person who got it, but it makes a difference in your life too.

You don’t need a reason, it does not have to be fancy, and you don’t have to write like Halmark. Just pull out a little card, say thank you or I appreciate you and mail it. Make it a habit this year, set yourself a part from the pack, be different and be sincere.

Today, I will clear off my board, put my cards from 2011 into a special wooden box, and start putting up my 2012 collection of inspiration. I will continue my practice of mailing at least one card a day with the hope that I will inspire someone else to pass along a simple act of kindness.

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