Today our blog could be called thinkinginthanks. As we approach the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, I focus my thinking and this post on one word: thanks. A word that we might think about more consciously.
It is such a simple word, one that can provide affirming impact, which should be used with meaningful intent.
How many times have you sent a very simple email or text or posted on someone’s Facebook timeline, something that really did not require any reply, but you get “Thank you.” Good words but they can cause an adverse reaction even if well intentioned as it might just be seen as another email in your inbox.
Then there are cases when something is provided – a gift, a work deliverable done under real time pressure or clearly exceeding expectations – and there is no acknowledgement at all let alone a thank you. That can really cause an adverse reaction. Appreciation for what someone does either directly for you or for the common good IS a time to say Thanks.
What Goes Around Comes Around
At other times, there is the opportunity to privately or anonymously give thanks for people in your life, experiences you have, treasured possessions or unexpected moments when someone does something that causes you to think “you did not have to do that” and sometimes appropriately left unspoken is a spoken “thanks.” But the thanks is offered up in private. Call it a contribution to the spiritual well-being or good karma of the world at large. What goes around does come around.
So as we approach a day that is all about giving thanks consider a discipline that makes offering thanks an intentional, regular act of making someone feel very special and appreciated for a job well done, big or small, or a simple act of kindness and certainly “above and beyond the call of duty” situations.
Giving– and Receiving– Thanks
Just as important can be the receipt of an offering of thanks. A smile of appreciation met with a nod or a return smile – or a silent fist bump! Consider the flight attendant at the door of the plane as 100+ people deplane and s/he says to most every one, “Thanks for flying with us.” How many return the offering in some small way?
As I passed through security at O’Hare Airport just before the holiday travel crush, I was cleared in that wonderful “TSA Pre” line when shoes, watch and belt stayed on, liquids stayed in my bag. I said to a dour, almost grim-faced, TSA agent “thanks for making this so easy today!!” But she barked at me, “whaddaya mean by that?” With a look that was very scary. As my father, rest his soul, often told me, “if you can’t say something good, just keep your lips zipped.”
Another agent witnessed this and apologized and I said “thank you.” He said kindly, almost with regret, “you did not have to say thank you.” He knew that my words were meant as appreciation for a group that gets little thanks for a tough job. His reply was a kind receipt of thanks offered.
Thanks Begets Joy…
When thanks are offered, at least privately enjoy the moment, beam with a smile or say “it was a pleasure.” Thanks begets joy begets affirmation of jobs well done, that what we do matters, that how we interact with others can mean so much more than meets the eye, having a deep lasting impact on the heart if not the soul.
I am so thankful for many things, including my personal family and my InRulian family, who is a such joy to provide guidance to and support for more than nine and a half years now and who is the driving focus and passion for thinkinginrules. And not to forget thanks for the InRule User Community as it continues to grow and sustain InRule Technology.
A Rules for Thanks
May your Thanksgiving Day be a celebration of all that has come into your life and what you know or at least tried to put into the lives of others. And may it carry over into the days ahead. Make thinkinginthanks a rule, not an exception.
Happy Thanksgiving (no thank you in reply is necessary!!)
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton