The Lost Art of the Handwritten Thank You Card

“Son, we live in a world that has walls.  And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns.  Who’s gonna do it?  You?  You, Lt. Weinberg?  I have a greater responsibility that you can possibly fathom.  You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines.  You have that luxury.  You have the luxury of not knowing what I know:  that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives.  And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives … you don’t want the truth.  Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall.  You need me on that wall.  We use words like honor, code, loyalty … we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something.  You use ’em as a punchline.  I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it!  I’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way.  Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post.  Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!”

Everyone should recognize the courtroom soliloquy stated by Col. Nathan R. Jessup, the character played by Jack Nicholson in the movie “A Few Good Men.”  Obviously, the good colonel hadn’t received a nice, personalized thank you note in quite a while!

Between e-mails, cell phones, blackberries and the harried life we lead, it seems a miracle if people remember to take a moment to say thank you anymore.  It’s a shame, because acts of gratitude have an exponential positive impact, on the person saying thanks and the person receiving the thank you.  And, quite frankly, there is nothing quite like a handwritten thank you card in today’s high-tech, low-touch world.

I was personally reminded of this a couple of weeks ago.  I volunteered to give the Stewardship Talk at my parish.  Our pastor thought it would be a good idea to have one of the parishioners motivate the troops.  I gave a ten minute talk during the homily at all the masses the first weekend of October.  I received a lot of positive verbal feedback from friends and fellow parishioners about my message and my unique delivery.  My good feelings turned to exuberance a couple of days later when a handwritten note arrived from my pastor.  It was a quick note of “genuine appreciation for your excellent stewardship talk.”  He stated that it was by far the best he had ever heard and he personally thanked me for all I do for the parish and school!

Do you think I’d “guard a wall” for this guy, or be willing to do something he asks of me down the road?  You bet I would!

Who could you write a thank you note to today?  How about a customer, your spouse, a fellow business associate, your child, your boss.  The list is endless.

A little note that takes a little time can reap huge dividends!

Rob Trecek

Johnson Direct LLC


The comments expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of Johnson Direct, LLC.