Have you ever received a little note, tucked into your lunch or the pocket of your jacket? Maybe attached to an article you wrote for your local paper? A note that said “great job, I am proud of you” or something of similar praise?
How did that note make you feel? Did you smile and feel great for a few moments? Did you keep the note safely tucked in your jewelry box or wallet? Reading it when you were maybe having a tough time or a bad moment in a day? Did it uplift your spirits and make you want to write a note to someone too?
Little notes and cards can touch us in ways that are insurmountable. They can change us forever with just a few words scribbled hastily on a scrap of paper or a post-it note. Cards can be even more impactful sometimes – although the spur of the moment note can be our favorite. The little “Thank You” card you receive for doing some seemingly small thing for someone that helped them and changed the outcome of a particular day or event for them is just as powerful as that scribbled note. And it’s the more formal salutation to someone we noticed who took care of us in some way.
I love to get notes and cards, like anyone. But I love to send them more than I like receiving them. It makes me feel good inside to sit down, write out a small card as a token of my deepest appreciation; a sign of my caring for someone in some small – or big – way and letting them know that they make a difference in my life every day.
It doesn’t take a lot of energy or time to write these words of encouragement, thanks or gratitude to a person in your life. And that time and energy is worth it tenfold on the other end.
My father once said “It is an honorable and classy person who sends Thank You notes and the such.” I took his words to heart, and wanting to BE that honorable, classy and memorable person to others I have made it a habit to send them to people. Especially when I know it will touch that person, boost them up and lift their spirits when they open it and read it.
Writing out cards and notes is just one of the ways that I try to change the world for others. I offer up words of thanks, encouragement, sympathy or inspiration – whatever is needed and appropriate at the time. I picture the person opening or finding my hidden note, and the smile that will spread across their faces. I write in hopes of changing one stressful moment in a day into something memorable and peaceful for their hearts.
I am very careful not to “fluff” my notes/cards. I write the truth and I write with sincerity and compassion for the receiver. I don’t want them to ever feel that I just wrote to be cordial or proper, but that I wrote the words specifically for them and from my own heart.
Here are my hints for writing a good note or card to someone who has impacted your life in some positive way.
1. Be specific, tell them why you are writing, what thing they did that you noticed or appreciated.
2. Be sincere and honest. Tell the person exactly how they made you feel, or how they made your day.
3. Be brief, but to the point. Don’t over do it. Flattery will get you everywhere, until you sound like you are going over the top.
4. Be prompt, write the note shortly after the fact. After 2 weeks your message will be old, and outdated to the receiver. They will still respect receiving it, but it won’t have the same bold impact as a prompt volley.
5. Unless you live with the receiver, send your note or card in the US mail. Splurge for that over-priced stamp, use nice paper and a nicely writing pen or choose an appropriate card for your local card shop or your desk top collection (everyone should pick up cards and note cards in their travels for future use, you often see unique ones in your travels, why not buy a few for future use?)
6. Make your recipient feel valued and special. Many people work in thankless jobs today, the secretary at your child’s school who helped with a minor problem, the doctor who saw you on the spur of the moment for that sore throat or who went above and beyond with time for you, the bus driver who waited for you while you ran helter skelter to catch the bus, the cashier that always makes sure your groceries are bagged exactly as you like them….there are countless people you encounter every day that are only trying to make you happy and make your day go easier…think of them and drop one a note today – just because they did what they did.
7. Email is NOT a note. Don’t even go there. Nor are those online “cards” you can e-send. Not honorable like a hand written, personalized note or card.
Note writing is becoming a lost art in this cyber age. Email thank you’s are so generic and in my opinion just plain tacky. It takes someone to think and take action to hand-write a quick note of thanks, encouragement or inspiration. You will be remembered for it and you will be blessed with happiness in yourself for sending it, because you just know you are making someone else’s day a little less stressful and a little more bright.
Write a note to someone today. If you have a child or a romantic partner put a note of love, pride or encouragement in their jacket pocket or lunch today. If you had a particularly good experience last week at the town hall with the clerk while registering your vehicle, tell her. Whoever you write to today will certainly smile and feel good about themselves and about you. They will know you have class and are honorable and their efforts were not for nothing. You were appreciative, and that is all they want – a little recognition sometimes. Pulitzer Prizes are nice, but hand-written notes will be saved in jewelry boxes and wallets forever. Perhaps you will even inspire them to write someone else a note. In time those notes will even come back to you – tenfold.