Itís a six-letter word that makes all the difference.
When you hear it, you know your work was worthwhile. If you donít, you question why you even try.
With the arrival of 2013 this week, plenty of people talk about their resolutions for the new year. I publicly resolve to be more grateful.
The older I get, the more I realize Iím destined to become an old fuddy-duddy. I miss the days when we routinely thanked people when they helped us.
Perhaps Iím more aware of it because so many phone calls about our website, LimaOhio.com, land at my desk each day. A surprisingly small number of people thank you for helping.
Yes, itís part of my job to answer their questions. So often, Iím walking them through fairly basic Web support tasks, things that really have less to do with our website than their computers. Still, I try to be helpful, often spending much more time with someone than my day can really afford. More often than not, the exasperated caller ends up hanging up without a thank-you in sight.
I know Iím not alone in this thankless world.
I see it at restaurants, where servers drop off refills or bring out additional items without acknowledgement.
I see it at stores, where salesmen patiently explain the advantages of one product over another, only to have the customer walk away without saying a word.
I see it among all of us, as we extend courtesies such as holding a door open for someone and donít even get a nod in return.
These are all actions we should do as part of a civilized society, trying to help one another. Still, it never hurts to show a little bit of gratitude.
I donít want to water down the word ďthanks,Ē by any means. We should reserve thanks for the times itís correct. When you really think about it, though, youíll find there are a dozen times a day you probably should be more thankful.
The worst part is when we do express gratitude, weíre more likely to do it for strangers than friends and family. Itís so easy to take those closest to us for granted.
Whenever Iím responding to an email from an unfamiliar person, I try to show some gratitude for their efforts contacting me: ďThanks for taking the time to write.Ē Yet Iím sloppy with saying it to people I know well.
I canít help but think about the number of opportunities I missed this week to thank the few reporters we had working at The Lima News this week. With the holidays, many people were off from work, increasing the workload for those of us left behind. I never really took the chance to thank them for their Herculean efforts to tell people what happened this week.
Similarly, I know I donít thank my wife nearly often enough for a delicious meal or my children for the things they do that make me smile. I do, however, frequently remind my kids how important it is to thank people.
Why are we so stingy with this six-letter word? It costs nothing to use it. It doesnít make us subservient. It doesnít make us weak. It just shows we appreciate someoneís efforts.
From a purely selfish point of view, I know itís nice to hear someone thank me. Using the Golden Rule, I ought to be treating others the same way by saying it frequently.
Thatís why Iím resolving to make 2013 the year of thanks. I want people around me to know I appreciate what they do to help. They deserve to know the value they bring to my life.
Iíll start my gratitude tour today: Thanks for considering my point of view every Sunday. Youíll never fully know how much I appreciate your feedback and being a part of your weekly routine.