A Novel Idea: A Thank You Note

It would be easy to write about something that we all feel strongly about.  A certain soliloquy about a subject that makes us mad or pulls at the heart strings. But I’m keeping this simple because in this highly politicized world lately, sometimes we just need quiet. And an easy thought to ponder and potentially be persuaded into trying.

Hand-written thank you notes. I know. I know. When is the last time you wrote one? Do you even have the right stationary at home to do it? How do you express everything you need to into that small notecard?

The world has gotten too busy, you say. I don’t have time to go buy stamps. A well-written 140-character tweet will do. There’s a reason my email contact list is long and detailed.

But, some of your most authentic moments can be inside that thank you note. You can change someone’s day and maybe even change their world with those few words, straight from your hand, and straight from your heart.

Recently, I received one in the mail that quite surprised me. The President of a major company in Columbus wrote me the note, not his assistant. I could tell because the writing was different on the envelope than on the card. It also was a guy’s penmanship.  And I only say that gentlemen in the best of ways—you all should have been doctors with the way you write your prescriptions… ahem, notes!


That hand-written thank you note to express his appreciation at recent work I did meant an incredible deal. It gave me a real feeling that I made a difference. That I had done something good. For the first time, it was a tangible item that demonstrated the months of work I’d been doing within my new business was really paying off.  All in that one note.

This will be a hard thing to persuade some to do. We laud the fact that our educational world is technology-face-forward, but in the same breath we don’t take a moment to recognize that handwriting is not a priority as it used to be once children get into higher grade levels. When they aren’t encouraged to write with their own hands, writing a thank you note is going to be tough. We already know we’re dealing with a moment in time where there is less face-to-face interaction, do we also need to take away the simple kindness of a thank you note that expresses our humanity and gratefulness to others?

I will also say there is something about the feel of fresh paper. When I was in college I took some of my Christmas money to buy the most beautiful Crane stationary.  I bought it at Water Tower Mall in Chicago and the blue foil lining of each note made me a little giddy when I sat down to use another sheet of it.

It feels good. It makes someone else feel good. There’s every reason to write that Thank You note you’ve been thinking about… right now.