The Meaningfulness of a Thank You

Cindy - Arlington, Texas
Entered on August 7, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: gratitude

I believe in the power of the words Thank You. Gratitude for a gift or a job done well rewards not only the recipient but the giver too. These two simple words, said meaningfully can make a difference.

My mother taught me the power of the words thank you. She insisted that every gift I received as a child was followed by a written thank you note. Even though I dreaded writing those thank you notes, I did learn a valuable lesson. Thank you notes and words of appreciation are powerful. They bring joy and they encourage us to value acts of kindness, hard work, and thoughtfulness.

I am a certified athletic trainer (ATC). I am responsible for the health care of active people and have worked with Olympic, collegiate, high school, and recreational athletes. I have many duties including prevention, recognition, evaluation, and treatment of injuries; but no matter what ‘hat’ I am wearing the best part of any day is when I hear the words thank you. I believe that my most meaningful experience regarding the power of the words thank you came after volunteering as the sports medicine coordinator for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk in 2005.

The Breast Cancer 3-Day is a 60 mile walk that raises funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Each step is taken in honor, in memory, or in support of those who are battling or have battled breast cancer and for the research that is necessary so many will never face this deadly disease. Walking 60 miles over varied terrain is a recipe for blisters and our athletic training crew saw more blisters in three days then many of us had seen in our combined careers. But as the 3-Day ended, we didn’t focus our conversations on how many blisters there were but how many times we heard the words thank you and how thankful we were to be involved with this event. Even though we were physically and mentally exhausted, we were all rejuvenated by those simple words.

However, the most profound moment for me came four days after the walk when I was outside of a grocery store. As I rode my bike through the parking lot, I heard my name being shouted out. I stopped and turned to find a woman hurriedly approaching me while she exclaimed that her feet felt great. She then removed her sandals and showed me her healing feet that had once been covered by blisters. Then she said “your medical team was awesome, thank you, without you I would not have made it.” I was surprised by the whole encounter but instinctively said “actually the thanks really goes to you”. She smiled and continued into the store and I went home and signed up for the event next year. At that moment, I knew that we both understood the power of a thank you. So say it often and realize that it may be just what someone needed.