“Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.” Albert Schweitzer
Last month our community lost a very special person who worked at a local financial institution. She always had a smile, a kind word, genuinely cared and went above and beyond to help her customers. She was exceptional and made a difference in the lives of all those she touched.
After her sudden and unexpected passing, I wondered if she knew how much she was appreciated. I wondered if I had ever let her know how I enjoyed our brief interactions. She wasn’t a friend, yet she was a familiar, valued presence in my life.
We all know people like this – they work in stores, banks, schools, healthcare, at service stations or tire shops. They stand out from their peers. They are cheerful, helpful, efficient. They improve our daily lives with their positive outlook and leave us feeling valued and appreciated. But do we reciprocate that feeling often enough?
A simple thank you or word of encouragement can go a long way to making someone feel valued for doing their job. It isn’t difficult, time-consuming or costly. Serving the public can be trying, and often only the negative is conveyed. Positive feedback is always appreciated and often leaves us feeling better as well.
I have always made an effort to express thanks but this recent loss left me wondering if I had done enough. It reinforced my resolve to not take people for granted, to ensure I always convey my appreciation. After all, the difference-makers in our lives, who brighten our days, do so quite often without even knowing it.