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Two Words

Jack Williams, April 2016

Today I want to share a message about two simple words. These two words are becoming more and more scarce in today’s society.

It’s unfortunate because they used to be part of our everyday vocabulary and were always greatly appreciated when spoken. What are those two words? THANK YOU!

In today’s entitlement world, all too often people expect people to do things for them instead of appreciating things people do for them. Some people may not appear to be appreciative of this type of comment but everyone likes to hear words of affirmation. It just makes us feel good to know that someone appreciates who we are, what we did or what we said. It’s not complicated.

Let me share a Jack Williams tradition that I started doing approximately 10 years ago. It’s called my Thanksgiving List. I create a list each year of people that I’m thankful for. I don’t include family because I obviously see them on a regular basis and feel I do a pretty good job of letting them know how much I appreciate them besides how much I love them. People on my list include former teammates, friends, business associates, neighbors, church friends, someone who did something for me that year etc. Many on the list have been on the list for several years and then some new people get added each year.

On Thanksgiving morning I begin calling each one of the people on my list and I just have a brief conversation telling them I’m thankful for them. In fact, the list has gotten so large I now have to start calling the night before. I have some people tell me they get worried mid- morning on Thanksgiving if they haven’t received their “Jack call”. They think they’ve been dropped from the list! Several on the list have started doing the same thing and try to call me before I call them.

The second application to this “revolutionary idea “of saying “thank you” is to look for people who are doing what society calls menial jobs. I don’t consider them menial but most of society does. When you see someone in this type of work, stop what you’re doing and walk up to them and tell them what they do is important and you appreciate their effort. Watch the smile come across their face. I did this recently with a lady who was a custodian at a gym I go to. The next day she told me she’d worked there six months and no member had even spoken to her much less said thank you for what she did because it was important and appreciated. That’s a sad commentary on our world today.

I want to challenge you to put the word “thank you” back in your vocabulary and I hope you’ll start your own Thanksgiving Call List this year. I assure you that you’ll look forward to making those calls each year as much as those who receive them. Also, I want to encourage you to look for opportunities to make someone’s day by walking up to them and telling them “thank you” for what you do or what you did. It’s amazing how many people you’ll notice when you start looking for those types of opportunities.

Oh by the way – thank you for taking time to read this!