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Make your appreciation a memorable event

November 26, 2015
By Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican

I've noticed lately that a number of popular phrases have become so overused we no longer think past the words to their meanings.

"Have a nice day."

"Take care."

"Not a problem."

Unfortunately, one of the growing collections of timeworn phrases is "Thank you."

You give a quick "thank you" to the clerk at the hardware store, the checker at the grocery store, the receptionist at the doctor's office. You've said it so often it no longer carries its intended feelings of gratitude.

And they've heard it so often; they no longer hear the words as expressions of appreciation.

thanksgiving is a good time to start making an extra effort to turn our one-size-fits-all "Thank you" into a genuine expression of gratefulness. It takes only a moment of thought to customize our remarks to those we cross paths with throughout the day.

For instance, the busy clerk at the hardware store would be pleased to hear, "It's great that there are folks like you to help me sort out just what I need for my project. Thanks for your assistance."

The checker at the grocery counter may have been on her feet for hours by the time you go through her line. You could make her day with something like, "I always like seeing your smile when I come in. Grocery shopping is much more enjoyable with folks like you around."

And the doctor's receptionist would find your visit memorable if you left her with, "I appreciate the way you try to make these appointments convenient for me. You're a real asset to the doctor's practice."

There are so many folks who pass through our lives anonymously who could be lifted up by a positive word or two. Among those I've stopped to thank are the gifted gardeners who maintain the lush plantings around our condo complex, the cashiers at the bank who make me feel I'm their most important customer and the cute little clerk at the doughnut shop who somehow always remembers my name. Each of them adds something to my day, and I try to remember to return the favor by acknowledging my gratitude for their work.

While face-to-face expressions of thanks are daily opportunities to give folks a pat on the back, dropping a positive note can provide a warm surprise of recognition for those who have touched our lives without knowing it. I've written messages of appreciation to newspaper photographers, teachers, doctors, hotels, restaurants, even a garbage service.

Few have acknowledged these communications, but I wasn't looking for a response. The notes were simply my way of expressing gratitude for jobs well done.

At this Thanksgiving time of year, its worthwhile to remember that while love makes the world go 'round, appreciation, well expressed, can smooth out the bumps along the way.



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