By G. A. FINCH
There is a lot written about the importance of writing thank-you notes and how people do not write them often enough or do not write them at all. The lack of writing extends to congratulatory notes, get-well notes and condolence notes. There are countless articles written on how one must write a thank-you note after a job interview and how such an act will distinguish one from other job candidates. Seems pretty basic doesn’t it? The fact is that fewer and fewer people handwrite anything let alone missives that have to be sent by snail mail.
My mother brainwashed my siblings and me that basic etiquette required one to write a thank-you note for everything ranging from receiving gifts to staying as a guest in someone’s home to benefiting from a recommendation and so forth. So I do write thank-you notes and other notes, but I feel I still do not write enough of them. I need to be more compulsive about it.
President George H.W. Bush reportedly is an inveterate note writer. I suspect it has to do with his old-school Yankee upbringing where etiquette was part of “proper” training. His sending notes to folks may have given him that little extra edge that made him a Congressman, an Envoy to China, a CIA Director, a UN Ambassador, and, ultimately, President of the United States. I don’t aim to be president of the United States but I try to be gracious.
What about thank-you emails? What about thank-you text messages? What about thank-you voice mails or phone calls? They are all good and vindicate the principle of expressing gratitude. A handwritten thank-you note is more personal and makes a bigger impact on the receiver. I know when I receive a handwritten note, I do notice.
It takes a lot of effort to be conscientious in writing and sending notes. It is worth the effort in letting people know that you appreciate, value and acknowledge them. Isn’t that what life is all about – making those human connections as often as we can? Now I must go and mail my little son’s note to his godmother thanking her for his birthday present.