Thursday, January 5, 2012
Over the weekend I read an interesting article about John Kralik. He wrote a book called A Simple Act of Gratitude in which he spent a year writing thank you letters to different people. What a simple and wonderful idea; I wish I had thought of it! Now I am the world's worst about writing thank you notes (just ask my in-laws) and I'm pretty sure there are a couple of items from our wedding registry eight years ago that never got thank you notes, and I know it's a "dying art." But I also realize how ungrateful it makes me seem.
Kralik says in the article, "This project transformed my life. I saw how much I had been blessed by so many people in different ways, and acknowledging their blessings seemed to make them multiply."
I love this idea. Love it. I'm hoping to make it a regular feature because, frankly, I have many people to be thankful for and I could use an attitude of gratitude.
Here are the tips Kralik offers:
GRAB A PEN AND PAPER.
Refrain from sending an email. Handwritten notes feel special, almost like the person is there with you. I use plain off-white cards that have my name printed on the front and my name and address on the envelope.
Perhaps start by thanking the people who just gave you holiday presents. Open with “Dear So-and-So,” identify the gift (“the red and white tie”), and say one sincere thing about why you like it (“It’s a perfect match for my blue suit”).
DIG INTO THE PAST.
After thanking your close friends and family, write to people who helped you at critical moments. I reached out to the doctor whose operation cured my pain, and to another doctor who told me I needed to stop drinking.
KEEP IT SHORT.
Your message doesn’t need to be long and eloquent—my cards are small, with room for only three or four sentences. By sticking to a few lines, you keep the focus on your thank-you and on the other person’s kindness.
Now I just have to figure out who to start with!
Thank you so much for taking these beautiful pictures of me. You are the main reason I am doing this blog. You gave me the confidence to do something I've always wanted to do because you believed in me. Your encouragement and kindness and willingness to take pictures (even though I'm sure you have better things to do than take pictures of an overweight, 30-year-old woman with a tendency to shut my eyes and squint), keep me going. Thank you for pushing me in this new direction. You are a beautiful and talented young woman and I can't wait to see where your life leads you.