My mother passed away in 2013. After 35 days in a leading hospital in Chennai. She had gone in for a complicated but not a life-threatening operation. In my opinion (unsubstantiated, and entirely emotional) one of the doctors was responsible for her condition post her operation. But that is not the point. She went into a coma on the 9th of December. She never came out of the coma.
But during those days, I observed how the doctors and nurses in the ICU took care of her. They were selfless, committed, and took care of her as if she were their own. But they made the last days for her, and for us, her family, a bit more manageable. Our doctor friend in Bangalore who kept advising us and giving us moral support.
But she still passed on. A couple of days after her last rites, we made a tough journey back to the hospital. My wife and I went and met every doctor who took care of her, the ICU staff, the nurses and even the receptionist we had got to know during her stay there. We thanked each and every one of them personally. If my mother were alive, she would have wanted it that way. That is the way she was. We felt it would be tough.
But it changed me that day. We saw doctors and nurses tearing up, and thanking us for coming back and acknowledging them. One of them told us that very few people come back to the hospital, let alone thank them. I don’t know what it felt like for them, but we felt lighter and happier.
There is a lot in life to be thankful for. If we ever took the time to think, we would realise miracles happen around us all the time. People who touch us in many ways. And there are those who work in our offices that we interact with, day in and day out. The peers who have helped us when we needed help. The Administrative staff that went out of the way to assist us with a meeting room for that very important meeting. There are always reasons to thank a person.
Being thankful for others. To show our gratitude to the people who supported us. Acknowledging their efforts in our lives.
When was the last time you took time off to thank someone for what they did for you?
Not just a thank you in a formal manner. But a heartfelt thanks, explaining how you felt about what they did. How it was helpful for you, and why you appreciate the time and energy they took to support you.
Here are four tips on saying thank you from your heart. And making a difference to the other person.
- Mean it – Whatever you do, mean what you say. Look at the people who helped you, into their eyes, shake their hands, smile and thank them. Wholeheartedly.
- Say it – Explain the background of what you were going through when the other person stepped up to help. Saying “the why” in detail and explaining how you felt, makes the entire experience that much more authentic.
- Do it – Say it in a way that matters. Personally. Or by email, if it is someone who is far away. Call them if you need to. Irrespective of the medium you pick, just do it.
- Often – Become the channel through which positive energy passes. Touch people’s lives in such a manner that they feel compelled to pass it forward to other people who have helped them as well.
Make someone’s day.
Be part of a movement.