Two Little Words

By Brenda Sheppard

Words are powerful weapons, and there are two especially impactful words which can change the atmosphere. The words ‘Thank You’ in conversation, email, and in personal notes sends the message of gratitude.

There are often extremes in how people use these words, where some people feel it is a phrase reserved for only the rarest of occasions and others who use it so frequently that it is not even noticed.

In our technological world, we shorten this in text messages to “np” or – ‘no problem!’ In the corporate world, many people skip sending a ‘thank you’ reply all together to avoid making the recipient read one more email. There certainly is a healthy balance. The point is that we are people in community and are meant to encourage each other.

A school administrator I once worked with said that if you have not written at least one thank you note in a week, you are not doing your job. He was known for sending hand written thank you notes for various acts of service and kindness. When he left that role, the loss was great! He built a strong communication network between the staff, parents, and students.

So, then why the emphasis on these two little words? As employees, we work together as part of a team to get the job done; our service is to our clients, and our clients are often each other. When we complete a task or meet a milestone, hearing or reading these words brings encouragement and incentive to push forward in the face of adversity.

While the kudos of a thank you, whether written or spoken, do not define how we should act or react, it certainly can change an atmosphere. When the deadlines are many, these two little words often brings a smile to someone’s face and encouragement to their hearts.

“Light” has been defined as ‘not dark’, ‘something that makes things visible’ or ‘to illuminate’. When light falls on an object, some of that light is reflected in our eyes, which allows us to see. “Darkness,” is defined as devoid partially or totally of light; it also holds the connotation of evil or evil desires. When we speak an encouraging word, we bring light into a situation, and reflect a positive atmosphere. Thank you is one of those encouraging words (or phase) in our daily lives that can brighten our lives.

When visiting Israel, one of the key words to know when we did not speak the language was “thank you” – ‘toda’. This is true whenever you travel. Small words go a long way; it breaks down language barriers and at times brings light where there is darkness.

How do you express gratitude throughout your day?

No matter the time of the year or the season we are living, let’s think about how we can express thanks in all aspects of our daily lives to affect a difference in the world around us.

Brenda Sheppard | Administrative Assistant