Who Will You Thank?

A small story on CBS Sunday Morning recently reminded us how simple gestures can change the world, one person at a time.  The story was about the hand-written “thank you” note, a seemingly quaint, antiquated custom in this day of Twitter and Facebook.

This particular story centered around a middle-aged Los Angeles attorney, John Kralik, who was feeling that just about everything in his life was falling apart when he heard a voice compelling him to start writing thank you notes.  He vowed to write one thank you note by hand every day for a year.  The result is shared in a book called 365 Thank Yous, which features his notes and the stories behind them.

Who would you thank, if you had to come up with a new note every day?  Kralik wrote to everyone, from his daughter’s piano teacher, to his hairdresser, to the barista at Starbucks, whom he thanked for remembering his name and making him “feel like a person and not a number”.  The difference it made to those who received his thanks is palpable, especially when the barista (who, ironically, CBS does not introduce by  name) reads the note to us and then carefully tucks it back into her apron.

While not expecting a benefit in return, it turns out that Kralik was rewarded for this efforts.  When you appreciate something, it comes again,” said Kralik. “If I was thankful for clients paying their bills, they seemed to pay faster. If I was thankful for cases, they seemed to come more.”

Of course, it’s no secret; thanking others makes us feel good.  And, as the Buddhist saying goes, “If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.”  Who will you thank?

Note: Watch the story here, from CBS Sunday Morning.


Categories: Books, TV

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1 reply

  1. I just read your blog post: Who Will You Thank. I love it!! It completely captures the spirit behind a fun promotion we are kicking off tomorrow. Here’s a copy of the email we sent to our entire list to announce it:

    Subject: Love, Football and … Business?


    Remember back in school when you gave a Valentine’s Day card
    to everyone in your class? I was partial to the Loony Tunes cards
    personally. Jocelyn was more of a Peanuts girl.

    Anyway, Jocelyn and I were talking about that and Valentine’s Day
    this year—and all the people who have been so generous in their
    support of our business came to mind.

    So, to celebrate both Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl this month,
    what better strategy than to go big and strong while showing lots of
    love and appreciation…interesting combo isn’t it?

    We at PPS are going to be spending the whole month showing our appreciation
    to the tons of folks who’ve played a part in our business and our lives
    or both, with our February Blitz of Appreciation.

    We’re going to send out a note of appreciation every business day
    during the month of February (there are 20 of them).

    Here’s where you come in…we want you to join us! We’ll even provide
    support materials for you to make it easier.

    How cool would it be to spend a whole month acknowledging people
    who’ve contributed to you? What difference would it make for you, your
    career and your organization?

    The details about our big game, the February Blitz of Appreciation, are on my blog:


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