Sometimes I sit down and write a letter, e-mail, or card of appreciation to someone (or some organization) for the good work that they do, or the kindness they show me or people I care about. I didn’t always do this, especially in my youth. It is something I started to do more in my late 30s. Of course sometimes if I see them face to face, I might express the appreciation verbally. That is appreciated, but I think that when it’s written down it is often extra special. The person can keep the note or card as a memento of sorts. They may even be used as words of recommendation for others to read. Also, the writing of the expression shows an extra special effort that spoken words might not equal.
I’m writing about this because this new common practice of mine gives me as much pleasure as it likely gives the recipients, and yes, it can be such a nice gift to the recipients. I suppose it gives me such pleasure because as I’ve aged I’ve grown to feel less entitled than when I was a younger woman. When I feel I’ve benefited or learned a lot, I see it as a real gift. Living life can certainly teach people that things don’t always come easy, but when difficulties are eased, even a little bit, it can mean so much.
Many organizations see monetary contributions as expressions of appreciation. Well, they usually do need the money to keep on giving what they give. I try to give as I can, but I can’t give to every organization/person I appreciate all of the time. When I can’t, I still send words of appreciation.
This past year I wrote letters of appreciation to three politicians, a website owner, two mental health-related organizations, a doctor, my therapist, an activist, some friends, a writer, and my hubby (well, those were notes of love). I’ve also shown appreciation to many online friends, including bloggers for things they have written, and their support of my writing. Today one blogger I know wrote about how much comments mean to her. Believe me, I told her that I agree completely. Such comments (often direct or indirect signs of appreciation) can make what was a lousy day, a much improved one.
Thank you cards or notes have long been considered protocol when receiving big gifts, hospitality, kindness, and the like, but even that practice has started to fade out. It’s a shame. I hope those that read this post will be sure to send words of thanks to someone they appreciate soon.
P.S. Huge thanks to all of you who have inspired me with your writing, and who have supported mine. I think my writing has improved because of all of you.