Thank Yous

I recently heard a man interviewed about writing Thank You cards. The idea made me smile from ear to ear. His idea had nothing to do with the obligatory Thank Yous one is supposed to write, after receiving a gift. Nope, not the kind you mean to write but then don’t, and then beat yourself up over having not. His lesson was to write Thank Yous to the people in your life for the things they do that bring you happiness. How great is that? Pretty darned great!!

Cookie Smiley

For years I’ve done something very much like this. My version of writing the Thank You note, is to bake cookies. I’ve delivered cookies to the frame shop for their generous help, and to the firefighters after coming to our rescue, and to a tow truck driver and especially to the janitor for my classroom, etc. There’s nothing quite so fun as showing up the next day with a plate of yummy thanks.

But Thank You cards can be passed out with no lag time and on a much larger scale than cookies! I was quick to start forming my list: the smiley guy at the drive thru coffee place, the cashier at grocery store who never fails to tells me about a Spontaneous Smiley she’s found since the last time I stood in her line, the giggly woman I sit next to at Board (bored) Meetings, the volunteers at the White Elephant sale and guy at the Quik Stop who helped me when my radiator blew, and on and on.

Iced Latte Smiley

What a fun habit this would be to start with your kids. It’s such a simple way to teach them to experience and express gratitude. What a wonderful world it could be if we all allowed the good feeling we have about another person to become the impetus for kind actions. Somebody gives you joy, give it right back by letting them know you are grateful!

Rust from Envelope Clasp Smiley) (bottom right corner)

And, knowing how busy we all can get, I’m not suggesting anything fancy. If there ever was an instance where it’s the thought that counts applies, this is it. Really, a folded piece of paper works just fine! Or how about one of the million art projects that come home from PreSchool or are created at your kitchen table. Hate to throw those masterpieces out? By turning them into Thank You cards, you move them out of your house, create joy and teach gratitude all in one easy step.

Paint Cans Smiley

I’m starting today. I look forward to handing them and mailing them to people who’d never have imagined getting acknowledged. Showing gratitude not only makes them happy, it will make me happy. I know that showing appreciation makes you appreciate even more!

Smile. Be Happy.


Ruth Kaiser

Ruth Kaiser is a preschool teacher, TED Talk speaker, children's author, AND the creator of the popular online art project where thousands of people find, photograph and share Smiley Faces they find in everyday objects.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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