The Power of Thank You

Posted on November 30, 2011

It was a simple gesture. The local parents group had the kids make cards for all the veterans in the neighborhood. The kids took blank greeting cards and inserted their special messages through crayon drawings and sayings, and then delivered the cards on Veteran’s Day.

Joe received a greenish-blue card that had to be turned upside down and backwards before being opened to see the green man in camo gear with a sun shining and the writing in red and yellow crayon falling off the edge of the page.

Happy Veteteres day  Thak yu for yuoer cereg  

(Translation:  Happy Veteran’s Day. Thank you for your courage)

 Five year old Ellie had signed her name in cursive. Joe was moved beyond belief. No one had ever sent him a card for Veteran’s Day.  He doesn’t remember ever receiving a thank you, outside of family, for serving his country in Vietnam. Apparently, he wasn’t alone.

The reaction to this small undertaking was stunning. Nate sums it up the best. He left a phone message for the parent group’s chairperson. Through his sniffling and many pauses he said he was a retired career Marine who had served in World War II, the Korean Conflict and Vietnam. He thought no one knew about his military career and he was certain no one cared any more about his past service. To be remembered by children, the exact group he’d been fighting for all those years, touched his heart more than words could convey. He promised he would get out more and become more involved in the neighborhood so he could meet this “mighty fine” new generation.

A plain, hand-crafted, crayon-written card completely changed the perception of a service-hardened Marine. And, the basic act of saying thank you softened the heart of an entire neighborhood.

It’s a lesson for us all. Don’t dismiss a thank you. It’s a proven way to completely change perceptions, open hearts, and create connections. What seems like a simple act in reality is a respectful acknowledgement of people’s caring, sharing and giving. What a heartfelt way to stay connected.

Recipe of the Month
Quick Mushroom Pate’
8 oz. cleaned mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
8 oz. softened cream cheese
Saute mushrooms in butter until liquid dissipates. Cool.  Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend well. Serve chilled with butter crackers. 





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