Saying ‘thank you’

Where I live in northern New Jersey, we remain without power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Regular train routes to New York are still suspended, and it's a bit cold outside as well as inside the house.

Yesterday morning, a pair of five-year-old twins from down the block showed up at the front door, smiling and hoping that I'd help them either color or locate some stickers to apply in a Batman-themed sticker book. After several days without power, they were a welcome relief.

It's funny how small things can help us reset ourselves, especially in challenging times. Last week, Kat Meyer sent me a link to "The 'thank you' that changed my life", a blog post by Nicholas C. Zakas. In it, Zakas outlines how he maintained a fairly persistent positive attitude in trying to get his first book published.

As Zakas concludes:

"My life was taken on a completely different path just by being nice to somebody. The truth is, you never know when that one moment of being nice will turn into a life altering moment. Amazing things can happen when you don’t push people away with negativity. So, embrace every opportunity to be nice, say please when asking for things, and above all, never forget to say 'thank you' when someone has helped you."

Five-year-olds have that down cold (well, maybe not always the part about 'thank you', but they feel it even if they don't say it). As we continue to figure a way forward after Sandy, maybe we can take a lesson from Nicholas Zakas and the twins down the block.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.