It’s Friday (how the heck did that happen? Wasn’t it just Monday, like, 5 minutes ago?), so it’s time for our Weekend World-Changer Homework!
This weekend’s assignment is inspired by a post I ran across on Mental_Floss: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/116624 . I’ll wait while you go read it–it gave me warm fuzzies.
Are you back? Did you read the post? Was it adorable, or what?
For those of you who didn’t read it, or who weren’t able to (for whatever reason), allow me to summarize: Famous people wrote thank-you notes to various folks, and the nice people at Letters of Note have collected some. The Mental_Floss post featured some of those letters, including Roald Dahl thanking a fan for sending him a “dream in a bottle” (which is just darling) and President Obama thanking Yann Martel for including animals in the novel, Life of Pi.
And it gave me pause: if all these famous–and in some cases, quite busy–people can take a moment to write a handwritten thank-you letter to someone who has touched their life, then why on earth don’t the rest of us? And I’m not talking about the polite “thank you for the lovely gift” notes that go out after major holidays and gift-giving occasions; I’m talking about real, personal, honest thank-you notes, sent to people who have in some way made your life actually better. Maybe it’s the person who wrote the book (or blog! Bloggers are writers too!) who changed your life, or at least changed the way you think about things. Maybe it’s the personal trainer who helped you meet a big goal. Maybe it’s the coach of the Parks and Rec soccer team that you joined when you were eight, who inspired you to love soccer and that’s why you’re now preparing for your Olympic debut.
So here’s your homework, ‘Tracters (heh heh, that sounds like “Tractors”, and that makes me chuckle): Think of someone who has made your life meaningfully better in some way. It doesn’t have to be a huge way, just a way that’s important to you. Then go write them a thank-you note. A real note, on paper or a card or something (this way if you become famous, they can sell your autograph on eBay later). Drop it in the mail, and know that you have made them smile.
Some possible recipients, in no particular order:
- The nurse who slipped you a soda when the doctor wasn’t looking
- The librarian who helped you find the one exact book that you needed, which enabled you to write the last paper in that really hard class, which in turn let you graduate on time
- Your parents or grandparents or foster parents or friends’ parents–whoever raised you to be the amazing person that you are now
- Your next-door-neighbor, who just happened to bring you cookies on a day when you were considering moving to the mountains and living in a cave
- A teacher who, in addition to dumping facts into your brain, also made you realize something about your own ability to change the world
- The friend who said exactly what you needed to hear, exactly when you needed to hear it
The list is pretty much endless, really. Thank the attorney who took your complicated case. Thank the comedian who made you laugh after a really terrible day. Thank the design team who created your favorite video game. Keep a little notepad in your car and leave a thank-you note on the windshield of the car next to you, the one with the bumper sticker that made you grin.
Thank someone, anyone, anyone at all. You’ll make someone’s day, in the same way that they made yours, and the world will thank you for spreading a little joy.
Now go ye forth, and be thankful!(Note: I strongly recommend sending written notes whenever possible, because email is just so impersonal; that said, if you can’t find a person’s physical address, e-thanks are totally fair game.) (Note #2: Please also allow me to take this opportunity to thank you, my beloved friends and family, for taking the time to stop by this little corner of the cyber-universe. You all inspire me to live my best life, and for that, I am forever in your debt. May your day be filled with joy as surely as you have brought joy into mine. Mad love for you each, and mad love for you all! –MamaBW)