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The Pen is Mightier than the Sword: Winning with Written Notes of Gratitude

You may think it’s old fashioned, but the handwritten thank-you note goes a long way in expressing appreciation.  It’s a lost art – and one that deserves to be revived for its pleasantry, and its power.

Think about it.  When was the last time you received a handwritten thank-you note?  How did it make you feel?  What do you think about the person who wrote it?

We just celebrated my daughter’s third birthday with several friends, where she received a generous sum of gifts and cards.  Tissue paper and gift wrap were thrown everywhere as dozens of kids huddled around to get a look at her presents.  While I assisted with the gift opening and attempted to keep things organized (not very successfully), my husband took notes about who gave what.

That night, after the kids were asleep, worn out from a day full of birthday festivities, I sat down with the list of gifts and givers.  I was overwhelmed – not only by the generosity of each person – but also by the number of thank-you notes I needed to write.  I grabbed my pen and a stack of cards, and I proceeded to write.  And write.  And write. 

What happened next was a moment of clarity that I needed:

The pen is mightier than the sword. Regardless of the battles you face – at work, at home, or otherwise – pick up your pen and write a note of appreciation.

It’s really that simple.  You never know how much a simple word of thanks will mean to someone.  And you never know how much effort they applied in order to help you.  Writing down your gratitude not only makes you realize all the blessings you have, but it also elevates your position in the eyes of the person you thank.

Now I want to ask a deeper question.  When was the last time you stopped to say thank you to your boss?  Your parents?  Your spouse?  And I’m not talking about a simple “thanks” when you get your way.  I mean a genuine, heartfelt letter of appreciation.  It doesn’t have to be a novel, but tell them what you appreciate about them, and thank them for all they’ve done for you.

The result will be better relationships, better communication, and a heart so full of gratitude there will be little room for anything else.

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