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On an Unexpected Day, In an Unexpected Way

February 14, 2010

The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.
• William James

It’s Valentine’s Day. You can keep those boxes of chocolates and flowers soon to fade away. Keep the living plants too. Keep the heart-shaped jewelry. The perfume. The fancy dinners and all the pink and red and white celebratory stuff. The generic heart-filled sentiments written by someone somewhere who doesn’t know me. I don’t want them. And for gosh sakes, don’t even THINK about fancy pajamas or other such swag.

I just want a thank you. That would do it. Something from the heart that can’t be purchased at the 24-hour grocery or drug store or wherever was open at the last minute for those who remembered to stop by so they could pick up any or all of the aforementioned items. Just a thank you will do. But only if you mean it. And only if you’re specific about what I bring into your life that wouldn’t be there if not for me.

Whomever you’re honoring today and whatever you’re gifting her or him with, consider adding a sincere thank you. I suspect it’s a little thing that will mean a lot. And then, on an unexpected day, in an unexpected way, when there’s no cultural pressure and no reason to do so except that you mean it, say thanks again.

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.
• Margaret Cousins

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.
• G.B. Stern

I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.
• Thomas Jefferson

I think we’re here for each other.
• Carol Burnett

Few people make it through school without some help from someone, whether it’s a teacher who is encouraging, family and friends who understand when you have too much homework and can’t do something you’d promised to do, or someone in admissions or financial aid or the library who is kind and helpful.

Who is here for you? When did you last say thanks—sincere gratitude offered in your words, handwritten and from the heart?

Flattery is from the teeth out. Sincere appreciation is from the heart out.
• Dale Carnegie

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