On my way to El Paso this morning I had the privilege of witnessing a moment of kindness that really set my day off on a good tone. The plane was packed and there was a mother who really needed two seats in order to sit with her young daughter. The flight attendant announced and asked publicly if there would be anyone willing to move to a single seat in order to accommodate this mother. One gentleman raised his hand and offered willingly. I witnessed a great act of kindness on his part but what the flight attendant and the mother did was just as important. They both deeply thanked him for his willingness to change seats. The attendant even offered him a free cocktail if he wished.
That act, of course, got my little wheels in my head spinning and made me reflect on how much in this digital world do I say thank you and really mean it. At times we can get so caught up in the routine of daily affairs that we either forget to say thank you or even when we do it comes across strictly as a phrase of custom. When we get right to the heart of what social media is supposed to be should not genuine thanks be part of that?
This led me to think of the times I have put myself out there and helped someone in a pinch or perhaps shared a post of theirs and I never received that Thank you. I will be brutally honest, it really hurt. Yes, I am a big boy and I will get over it after going through ten tissues and counseling from my therapist. (just kidding)(about being a big boy) The point is that we really appreciate it when someone acknowledges our act of kindness by being kind in return. That gentleman’s act I am sure felt much better to him a result of the genuine thanks he received. It just feels right and natural doesn’t it?
Lately, I have stumbled across some posts on social media etiquette and thoughts on when and how much we should thank people for various daily items that are pretty well a matter of routine in social media. I applaud the posts for putting it out there but at the same time, it amazes me that people would even need a guidebook on how to be appreciative. For crying out loud this is social media people. Be social. Be Socius! Don’t commit yourself to some sort of code of ethics that are predetermined by others. Do what is natural and commit yourself to be thankful beyond the traditional phrase. Believe in its meaning. Never be too busy to be thankful.
I would love your thoughts on this topic. What do you think contributes to people forgetting the art of thankfulness? How does it help you when people are thankful for the work you do or the things you share in the social media space? Thank YOU for being here today.
Written by Jonathan Saar