“Those who have the ability to be grateful are the ones who have the ability to achieve greatness,” wrote Steve Maraboli in Life, the Truth, and Being Free.
When was the last time you received a hand written thank you note or a card just to let you know someone was thinking of you? If you’re like most people, it’s probably been too long. When was the last time you wrote a thank you note?
If you know me personally, you’ll know that I am a firm believer in writing thank you notes. Apparently, I instilled that same conviction in my children, as the thank you notes from both my son and daughter are sure to follow a gift, party or act of kindness. I keep them to remind myself of the good times we shared.
Most people use the excuse that they either don’t have the materials handy or they don’t have the time to write and mail a thank you note. Both excuses are just a reflection of your priorities. Keep notes, pens and stamps in plain sight so you can take a moment to send your thoughts without much effort.
What’s more fun than receiving a note or card after a long day in the office or truck or a difficult day at school? A note is something tangible that reminds you that the sender is thinking of you.
One young woman kept every card her mother had sent her after she left home. Later, she used them as decorations at her wedding by cutting hundreds of little hearts out of the cards and spreading them across the banquet tables. The groom explained to the family and friends that the decorations were the result of over 100 cards his new mother-in-law had sent to his new wife.
We were all taught to say thank you and to acknowledge kindness but it seems that civility has been replaced by self-centeredness. We refuse to show our appreciation to someone because THEY haven’t shown appreciation to us! Where does it begin? Perhaps with you!
If you’ve been reading my articles, you’ll know about the campaign of #SteeeringTowardKindness. At Women In Trucking Association, we make it a priority to showcase acts of kindness by our members. From sharing home cooked meals (truck cooked meals?) with strangers, to paying for a shower for a homeless person or even offering money for a ride home, professional drivers are some of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever met. However, drivers are also some of the most under-appreciated folks as well.
Delivering a load on time doesn’t win any favors but if you miss your appointment you’ll hear about it. Keeping your truck in top shape is expected but if a tail light is out on the trailer, you will be penalized. Do we really need to wait for a week in August to honor our professional drivers for their hard work?
Author Gregory Smith asked respondents to list their greatest dissatisfaction at work for his book, Here Today, Here Tomorrow. He found that the top answer was a lack of appreciation. When companies make an effort to show their gratitude, sales increase, productivity is raised and happiness is positively affected by employees. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?
How can you help us in our efforts at #SteeringTowardKindness? Share your stories with us. Send someone a note or a card and watch his or her reaction. Stick a post it note where they’ll be sure to see it. Pay for the meal of the person behind you at the fast food restaurant. Donate to a worthy cause in someone else’s name. Leave a generous tip.
What can you do to show your appreciation? Check out www.randomactsofkindness.org for ideas and then share them with us on the Women In Trucking Association Facebook page. We’ll share them and spread the good vibes.
By the way, the young woman who saved her mother’s cards and cut them into hearts for her wedding was my daughter. To this day it gives me overwhelming feelings of being appreciated.
Women In Trucking Association, Inc. is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission. Women In Trucking is supported by its members and the generosity of Gold Level Partners: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Daimler Trucks North America, BMO Transportation Finance, Great Dane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Ryder System, Inc., U.S. Xpress, and Walmart. Follow WIT on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. For more information, visit http://www.womenintrucking.org
Ellen Voie founded the Women In Trucking Association in March of 2007, and currently serves as the nonprofit organization’s President/CEO.