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upworthy

gratitude

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash
man buying item in shop


Have you ever wondered why people don't seem to say “you're welcome" anymore?

The phenomenon has really caught on lately but it's roots go a back further back. Back in 2015, author and professor Tom Nichols tweeted out an angry response after receiving what he thought was poor customer service:


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Teaching over Zoom can be rough. It's the little things…

I only have one Zoom meeting a week, and I find myself facing screen fatigue. I can only imagine the challenges that teachers have been continuously facing during this pandemic—overcoming tech issues, keeping the attention of multiple students from a distance, establishing a stimulating educational environment in a literally sense-less virtual space—all this with little help, and oftentimes even less appreciation.

But then again they don’t do it for the praise, they do it out of a genuine calling to help develop young minds. They certainly don’t do it for the pay.

Still, one group of students found the most heartfelt way to surprise their teacher, and it’s a powerful reminder of why education providers should get a “thank you” during this time.

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I belong to a private Facebook group filled with parents of teenagers and college-aged students, and due to the sheer number of people, it's not uncommon for differences of opinion to arise. Rarely, though, have I ever seen a debate as split as the one raised by a post about something seemingly benign: Handwritten thank-you notes.

A mom shared that she was requiring her graduating senior to write thank you cards—the old-fashioned variety, complete with handwritten note, envelope, and postage stamp—and that emailing, texting, or calling on the phone to say "thank you" were unacceptable alternatives. She said her son was writing the notes but didn't like it, and she blamed computers and having to type assignments all the time for his resistance.

Some parents will read that paragraph, nod along, and agree 100% with this mom.

Others say the method doesn't matter—it's the message that counts.

Within hours, more than a thousand comments poured in and the responses were sharply divided between the "Yes, written thank you notes only!" and "Oof, that's a really outdated notion." (Not that the idea of gratitude is outdated, but the idea that appreciation must be written by hand and sent in the mail.)

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How thankfulness helped me salvage a tumultuous 2017.

Making gratitude a part of my daily routine helped me in unexpected ways.

2016 was a hard year for a lot of us. That's why on January 1, I started a "thankfulness thread" on Twitter.

It's a small thing, but it's made a big difference in my life.

Every night, just before I go to bed, I think of one thing from that day that I'm thankful for and tweet it out into the world. Sometimes, these tweets are about my family, friends, or others in my life; sometimes, they're about things as simple and silly as macaroni and cheese or a movie I watched that particular day. The point of the exercise is to find one thing I can focus on, even if just for a few seconds, to be thankful for, and put the rest of the world out of my mind.

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