It’s a Friday night and I’m writing thank yous; two to guest speakers for coming to my Leadership class, one for an employer’s advice on internships, and another for a work colleague that helped me film a video. It took me until last month to realize the importance of writing thank you notes, as I was on the receiving end of a thank you, but never got one.
I wrote hundreds of thank yous to 4-H livestock buyers and donors (okay, so it wasn’t that many… But it felt like that at the time). My mom never did them for me, I always did. Although, I usually took the shortcut of using a computer so I could do multiple thank yous quickly and they would be legible. Sometimes, I would write thank yous to extended family members for a birthday or Christmas gift. Effort and postage were being utilized; despite the fact I still did not understand why thank yous were necessary, besides sending them were the polite thing to do.
Finally, last month I sent a friend a birthday present for her daughter. I have not heard from her since before I sent it, so I do not know if the child liked the gift or if they even received it at all. It was only a simple coloring book and markers, but I have feeling of being disregarded and overlooked. Now I know why it was so important to write all those thank yous over the years, to show family, donors, or livestock buyers, that their gestures were noticed and appreciated.
They say you should do good even when it doesn’t get recognized, but a simple acknowledgement makes it all worth that much more. It took me 20 years and to be on the receiving end to finally realize that.