It has been said that I am “entitled” having grown up in an upper-class suburb of Detroit with parents who would do anything for me. While I did have a privileged childhood (and still live a great life), my parents instilled good manners and taught me to be grateful for what I had. If someone holds the door for me, I say “thank you.” I thank the bus driver every morning he drops me off at my stop. I think my husband for getting the trash together. I thank the work study students in my office for their assistance. Heck, I thank everybody who writes me happy birthday on facebook. You get the picture.
This “habit” started at an early age when my mom had me start writing thank you notes for birthday and Christmas gifts. It is a habit I continue to this day. In addition to writing notes for gifts, I also writing notes when somebody does something kind for me, such as a favor or inviting me over to her house for dinner.
I have often been asked why I do this and have been told that it is excessive. I do this because I don’t feel that other people have an obligation to buy me gifts or do nice things for me. To be honest, if someone makes an effort to send me a gift, I feel that is a poor reflection on me if I do not at least say “thank you.” The excuse nowadays is “I’m so busy.” Well, guess what? The gift-giver is probably busy, too. If he or she found the time to think of you, buy a gift, wrap it or make you a meal, you can find five minutes (or less) to write a thank you note. While I believe a hand-written note is the best, in this digital age you can at least write an email!