Lift two people with a retrospective thank you

Today, if you can, I wonder if you might find time to think about one person who, sometime in the past, made a difference to your life?

It might have been a friend or family member. A neighbour even. Or, as in my case, a school teacher.

Perhaps they went out of their way to help you. Maybe they gave you invaluable advice. It could be something as fundamental as them simply believing in you.

Having brought them to mind, ask yourself the following. Perhaps you thanked them at the time, and to some extent their contribution has probably faded from your memory.


However, what I’d like to suggest is that you write to thank them again. Doing so will almost certainly give them a boost, but the power of a genuine, heart-felt thank-you can also warm you, the person expressing gratitude.

I was lucky to have a couple of teachers whose influence I still feel, all these years later. And although neither is still with us, one of my most treasured possessions is a reply to the thank-you note I sent to a teacher from my secondary school.

I think I’d moved him by writing to him. His letter in turn moved me.

It’s so important of course to express your thanks before it’s too late, which is why I gently urge you to take action in the next day or two.

Your letter (or email) needn’t be long or complicated, but it should be genuine and specific. Exactly how did this person make a difference? Exactly what did this difference mean?

Don’t necessarily count on a reply: that’s not what this is about.

Do, however, count on feeling just a little better once you’ve dropped your letter in the mailbox.

8 thoughts on “Lift two people with a retrospective thank you

  1. This resonates as it is something I have been thinking about for the past couple of weeks. A reckoning? Maybe clearing up the old before starting something new? I’m still hesitating. I haven’t spoken to the person in years. But I can’t shake the feeling that it would be the right thing to do.

  2. I was on the verge of writing to a friend whom I hadn’t seen for a long while to thank her for the flowers she brought yesterday. We had a great catch up and I was going to write to her anyway. However, your Moodnudge compelled me to thank her explicitly for her friendship and support during difficult times in the office where we both worked. Thank you for helping me make my e mail just a bit more thoughtful and grateful

  3. We were JUST talking about this very subject yesterday! I agree wholeheartedly with what you say you, Jon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *