I paid for someone’s dinner the other night, and she thanked me kindly. I made a trip to help someone with a daunting chore. She thanked me for coming, even before we got started on the work. Nicely done, and what a difference it made. Being acknowledged for doing something helpful or nice adds to the quality of the exchange. Makes it a little more worthwhile.
These experiences put me in mind of another situation, in which I’ve been both acknowledged and rebuffed. The acknowledgements help me move forward; the other stuff makes me wonder if it’s worth it, which in turn means it takes that much more energy to do what I do there.
So here’s what I want to say about this: please thank others for what they do. And if you disagree with what they do, it’s okay to communicate that. Please, just include appreciation for the efforts they make, and do it with respect and courtesy. It’ll make the world a nicer place—at least your corner of the world, for a little while.
And please let me know what kind of experiences you’ve had with expressions of gratitude. What kind of results are you noticing? Oh—and thanks for reading.