Girlfriendology-quote-thankful-thursday-writing-thank-you-notes“Fine writing is next to fine doing.”
– John Keats –

How do you show your gratitude?

When someone does something nice for you, how do you respond? Most often, a simple “thank you’ will suffice.

  • “Thanks for stopping by.”
  • “Thank you for the flowers.”
  • “Thank you so much for thinking of me.”
  • “Thanks for letting me borrow your car.”

Simple thank you’s can be vocal, they can be e-mailed or tweeted or expressed with a gift. The fact is that any simple, heartfelt thank you is a good thank you.

But today for Thankful Thursday we’re going to take things up a notch. One of the most seldom, yet the most personal and effective ways of showing your gratitude is easily accomplished by putting pen to paper and writing a personal note.

Chances are, the first handwritten not you received was passed to you across the aisle in grade school. Do you remember the anticipation of unfolding the note and the joy in reading what it said? Those feelings never really change. A handwritten legal xanax online note is pure magic, and while many lament the demise of cursive writing in our electronic culture, we can all still manage to put a few words down on paper when we need to. Or when we want to.

So how effective is a personal, handwritten note in saying “thanks?”

In her book: The Art of the Handwritten Note, A Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication, author Margaret Shepherd highlights the unique qualities of the handwritten note that make is such an attractive and effective means of communication.

To paraphrase a few of Shepherd’s observations: A handwritten note’s rarity heightens the appeal of the message.

When was the last time you received a handwritten note? You likely felt a much deeper emotional reaction to the message, however simple it was, than you would to an e-mail or text message. It may have brought a tear to your eye or a smile to your lips, it most certainly got a very personal reaction.

It repays the reader’s attention: If you take the time and energy and effort to create and deliver a handwritten message, the reader will certainly invest the time and energy and effort to carefully read it and appreciate its importance.

It’s remains a unique, exclusive way to deliver a thank you, an I’m sorry, or just an I was thinking of you: While the classic (Hallmark) greeting card is an invention of the 20th century, the joyful greetings of handwritten notes wishing happy new year can be seen in Chinese culture centuries ago. The appeal, the importance and the power of a handwritten note cannot be overstated; in delivering a timeless, personal message, it has no equal.

What struck me most was Shepherd’s observation that the handwritten note pays debts. If you are under any debt of gratitude or owe someone a truly heartfelt apology, a handwritten note as she puts it, evens up the social balance.

Girlfriend-thank-you-noteWe all know there is great power in words. Power in words we think. Power elevated in words we speak, Power amplified when we write it down, adding a dimension of commitment to the message.

For every emotion and occasion, a handwritten note inspires both the reader and the writer. So what could possibly be your excuse for not tapping into the incredible power of the handwritten note?

I don’t have time. Right, because handwriting a few short lines takes so much more time than texting them. And the US Mail takes so much longer to deliver the message. Suffice it to say that the time it takes becomes part of the appreciation on the reader’s part.

My handwriting is terrible. So you’re not a professional calligrapher. The delivery of your message in its purest representation – your handwriting – far outweighs any apologies needed to cover your lack of cursive talent.

I don’t know what to say.
Put your pen on the paper. Write what you’re thinking. The simple act of handwriting will add gravitas to your message, however simple it is.

Bottom line, your investment is less than a dollars worth of materials and ten minutes of your time. Once in a while, you’ll find a situation where a handwritten note is just the thing. Grab the opportunity to make someone’s day.

So your Thankful Thursday gratitude challenge for this week is to create and mail three handwritten notes to people who – for whatever reason – are important to you.

Let’s make 2013 a special year – filled with friends and gratitude. Sounds like the winning combination for a wonderful new year!

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