Amy Clark

Why Being Thankful is So Important


I just began the greatest book called, “For the Love of Letters” by Samara O’Shea. It is a guide to the art of letter writing and I am totally in love with this book already. The book is filled with ideas for writing every kind of letter you can imagine- an apology, a letter of thankfulness, a message of sympathy…any kind of letter you could ever dream of is in this book.

Growing up I never had a choice about writing letters of thanks for things that we received in our life. It was always ingrained in us that writing a thank you letter was just essential. Only those who are thankful and express their gratitude can graciously receive something else in their life.

As I have grown up though, the written word has been disappearing. Letters have been replaced by digital media and cell phones. Why take the time to write a letter when you can just shoot off a quick email and get on with your life? I imagine that this is going to be one of those things that I will have to work extra hard on with my children, as text messaging and chatting in code has replaced the formality of actually penning a response.

One of the most practical reasons for being thankful is because the act of being thankful makes people want to give to you again. And again. And again. A handwritten note, a special phone call to thank someone for something they have given you, a small token of gratitude for what they do for you- this is not only thoughtful, but also a necessary part of your life.

One example of a time of gratitude in my life was when we were expecting our second child. When we found out we were having a little girl, I was so thrilled, but I also knew that many of our boy things would have to be replaced by little girl items. I had that nervous feeling about our finances and how we were going to swing an entire new wardrobe. I knew that we could make it work, but I also knew that starting over can be pretty expensive. Cue the windfall of clothing. Do you hear it? People from all over started just giving me things. I had a girlfriend who loaned me her daughter’s entire wardrobe for the first year. Then I got that nervous feeling again. Cue another windfall of clothing from someone that was a friend of our family, and feel that sense of relief again.

When my grandmother brought over a bag of clothing from someone who didn’t really even know me personally, I wept. I was so touched that someone would give us so much and not even ask for anything in return. I called her as soon as she left and thanked her, blubbering the whole time. I asked what I could do for her- if I could offer her a gift card or a sum of money. She did not want anything from me, but thanked me for calling. I sat down and penned a note to her and thanked her family for what they did and sent off a couple of handmade hair bows to her daughters. It was a small gesture compared to the enormous gesture she offered me, but it made a positive impression. She later told my grandmother how nice it was to give to someone who was so appreciative and that she planned to give us her children’s clothing as her daughters outgrew them.

Had I just took the clothes with an open hand and never sent her a note of gratitude; I would not have received anything again from her. She would probably give the clothes to someone else, someone who would have acted like they cared & appreciated what she was doing for them.

I see this often in my life, and I try to keep this in the back of my mind.

Writing a letter of gratitude is also a great, great thing when you work from home and are trying to build your business. When someone sends you something or does something for you in your business, you should always send them a note of gratitude. It leaves the other person with a positive impression of you and also makes them want to do more for you in the future. Imagine that you are laying bricks for a pathway to your house and each letter is one of those bricks. That pathway will eventually lead you to many great things. Those positive connections will be wonderful for references or networking in your home business, or serve you well when you return to the workplace.

Have you ever received a letter that you never forgot? Do you still write letters to people in your life?

I hope you can check out this book! Not only is it a beautiful book for your coffee table, it is also a great guide to pulling off a letter of thankfulness or any other type of letter you can imagine!

Published April 25, 2007 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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