Posts Tagged ‘thank you’

Thank you. Two small words that can make a tremendous difference in a person’s day. I will even go so far as to say that sometimes those two words can make a difference not just in a person’s day but in their life.

We all know the importance of saying thank you to people and we all know how it feels to be thanked and appreciated. Yet sometimes people we should acknowledge and thank are overlooked. They are even taken for granted if you will.

I know at my place of work in the ER there are quite a few overlooked people. The cleaners (am using the literal translation from Hebrew instead of the word janitor) are among them. For the most part they have a really thankless job.

When I am working and a cleaning person comes to change the garbage bag by my station, I make sure to stop and thank them, acknowledge their presence. Just today I saw an example of how much of an impression a simple few words on my part can make.

I started my shift late. As I walked into the ER one of the aforementioned cleaners stopped me and said hello and asked me how I was today. He is a young guy, probably about 20 years younger than me if I had to guess. I can’t believe I just said that out loud or admitted it….I shouldn’t be old enough to say anyone is 20 years younger than me. When did that happen?

Anyways, back from the tangent. I am Jewish, he is Arab. In his job, he is mostly ignored by everyone else. Obviously the fact that I have made an effort to acknowledge him and his work has stuck with him. His simple greeting meant a lot to me. It also lifted my mood dramatically.

Three days from now on Sunday is the Jewish holiday of Purim. It’s a holiday when we dress up in costumes and we give food baskets to friends and needy people. Many times we also send something to teachers or others.

Last year at my little one’s daycare, I made a modest little food package for each of the caregivers. Many of the other parents did as well. I decided to also make one for the cook because I thought she deserved a thank you as well. The cook was a loving grandmother type who doted on the kids.

When my little one handed her the package she was so touched. Later on, the manager of the nursery told me that none of the other parents had given the cook anything and it had deeply touched her that we remembered her and thought to give her something.

A few weeks back when I had taken my daughter to her nursery, I met up with the guard. Here in Israel at all the schools and nurseries there is a little guard’s booth with a guard. Normally the guard is by his booth at top of the steps while the two nurseries are about ten or so steps down.

This particular morning he was walking out of my little one’s nursery and I was amazed when he said good morning to my daughter and called her by her name. I was really impressed because firstly, I didn’t realize he interacted with the kids but mostly because between the two nurseries he guards there are about 70 children. He actually cared enough about the kids to learn their names.

That incident stuck with me. When I started planning my holiday food baskets I right away said that I want to make one for this guard. He deserves to be acknowledged and thanked. When I mentioned to my three year old that we are going to make a package for Alex she said in a very loud voice “I like Alex! And he likes me!” It was so sweet.

So I put together something small and modest. It is more about the thought then the package. I wrote a card about how I admire his devotion and how nice it is that he loves the kids. And I thanked him.

I attached the card to the package and in the morning I plan on adding a big homemade chocolate chip cookie with his name in chocolate on it. My little daughter is excited about bringing it to him.

I am not going to be there to witness the joy on my daughter’s face when she brings something unexpected to someone she “likes and who likes her”. My husband will have that honor. One thing I do know is that I don’t have to be there or witness it to know how touched the guard will be by a simple thank you.

So next time anyone is feeling down and wants a way to brighten their own day, find a way to thank an overlooked person in your life. It can be a note of thank you, a kind word or a little gift. You decide. Just remember by thanking others we bring joy and gratitude into our own lives.


March 1st 2010-Just wanted to add this sweet picture of my little one handing the parcel to the guard.

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