The Power of a Thank You

A simple thank you can make a difference.

Being thanked feels good. I was reminded of this a few days ago. I had sent a donation to a non-profit organization. To my surprise, someone from the organization called to say thank you. I've received form letter thank you's from charity organizations before, but never a thank you phone call.

A cynical sort might say, "So what if they called? Donations are down, and they're doing anything they can to keep you as a loyal contributor."

To which I say, (1) So what if that's their motive? Most charities just take in the contribution (big sucking sound goes here) and if you ever hear from them again, it's in the form of the next solicitation. This organization was thoughtful enough to follow up. And (2), and maybe more important, being thanked feels good. It feels good even if they did it for self-serving purposes. It's just plain nice to be appreciated.

I've often felt that the world would be a better and more peaceful place if more people took a moment every now and then to thank others—not just for the big things they've done, but also for the small kindnesses that make it just a little easier to get through the day. But it's easy to forget amidst the daily stresses of work and home. This phone call from the non-profit was a reminder to me that a simple "thank you" can make a difference.

User Comments

Anonymous's picture

Naomi, Thank you for that great reminder. There is another way a Thank You can help. It feels as good to give thanks as it does to receive. Brent Peterson of Interview Angel ( said that he started counting the number of times each day he thanked someone, even for something small. If he did not reach 100, he knew he was having a rough day. Like you said above, the world would be a better and more peaceful place if we all took a moment to say "Thank You".

December 2, 2009 - 11:28pm
Anonymous's picture

Marty, thanks so much :-) for your post and thanks also for the link (there -- that's two thanks, only 98 to go!) You are so right -- where thanks are concerned, it feels as good to give as to get. I don't know that I'll ever reach 100/day (that's a pretty lofty goal!), but I find that if I just aim to say thank you once a day to someone who doesn't expect to hear it, it makes my day, and hopefully it has at least a smidgen of positive impact on theirs.

August 6, 2009 - 1:45am

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