While we all appreciate hearing the words, “Thank you,” the value of this simple phrase can vary greatly from one utterance to another. We all know that when those words pass some lips, they mean very little, while those same words can mean the world coming from someone else. Context matters greatly when it comes to the value we attach to this simple expression of appreciation.
Even more important than these two words are the actions that accompany them. As our thirty-fifth U.S. president, John F. Kennedy, once said,
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
It is very easy to offer a quick two-word “Thank you;” it is much more difficult – and much more valuable – to live out those simple words and to show our appreciation through our actions.
In this coming week, I encourage you to do more than just say “Thank you.” Offer a gift much more valuable than mere words – offer your actions.
- Say “Thank you” to the Starbucks barista who always gets your special order just right. Then say “Thank you” by paying for their meal during their next break.
- Say “Thank you” to your wife for her dedication to the care of your home and children. Then say “Thank you” by watching the kids and cleaning the house, giving her the night off to go out with her girlfriends.
- Say “Thank you” to your husband who has been working overtime to earn that family vacation coming up this summer. Then say “Thank you” by offering him a guilt-free Sunday to spend on the golf course without a “honey-do” list waiting for him at home.
- Say “Thank you” to your coworker who always goes above and beyond at work, making your job easier. Then say “Thank you” by writing a note to their supervisor, expressing your admiration and appreciation for this dedicated, hard worker.
- Say “Thank you” to your son or daughter, who worked hard this semester to get better grades. Then say “Thank you” with your time, by taking him or her to an upcoming game or event of their choice.
If you stop to think, there are a million ways we can offer our appreciation to those who have blessed us – with more than just words! And if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of the kind of appreciation that is expressed in actions more than words, you know how powerful that tangible “Thank you” is.
Offer a memorable “Thank you” to someone this week – not just with words, but also with actions – you’ll both reap the powerful rewards!