Tuesday, August 25, 2015
In Praise of Saying Thank You
I have been listening to the radio in the car this week. I usually end up with a take away. No, the universe is not speaking to me, but someone on the airwaves seems to be communicating directly to me. Sometimes I even have to keep listening to the radio even after I pull the car into the garage. (My garage only has two sides so I don’t worry about carbon monoxide.) But the downside is that I don’t have any idea who it was that said what I found inspiring so I can’t quote names or organizations.
For example, I came in on the middle of a discussion by an art marketing specialist. The interviewer asked her the one biggest mistake that artist make in promoting their work. I held my breath for the answer. Would it be over or under pricing, meaningless artist statements, or maybe getting drunk at their own opening receptions? No to all of these. IT WAS NOT SAYING THANK YOU ENOUGH.
Sounds simple, but I started thinking of all the people I say thank you to and how it is never enough: Artists involved in SDVAN projects, art gallery and museum directors, patrons who give donations, writers who report on our SDVAN efforts, masses of volunteers, our Indian software expert, community leaders who support the arts, my family and personal friends that help me through moods swings, stress, ranting, and who feed and walk me and all those people on the radio and their words of wisdom.
So I researched how to say thank you. Be sincere, be grateful and be specific. It can be in person, over the phone, in a text, in an email and don’t forget the classic written note. I could be saying thank you 24 hours a day, day in and day out. But can one be sincere day in and day out….I know I am grateful every moment of my life. But sincerity can be exhausting and much harder to muster if you think you should be grateful but the “gift” was more trouble than it was worth.
Deep down my mother loves to get compliment and thanks, but she always shrugs it off as insincere. She does not think she is worthy because thinking you are worthy is too prideful and to be resisted.
And who says thank you to me? Masses do but a lot of what I do is never acknowledged. The thanks is seeing a worthy project happen and the fun I have in participating. Do we need to start saying thank you to those who thank us? Do others think that saying thank you, is a thankless task?
Next on the radio was news of the drop by 1000 points of the stock market. Echoes of 1929, but the reassuring words came fast. THE STOCK MARKET IS NOT THE ECONOMY. The Economy is fine. I am grateful for this viewpoint. Who do I send a thank you note to for the good night’s sleep I can have tonight?