Tony Leighton is a Canadian writer happily retired and attempting to help others feel the same.

A "Powerful Act of Civility" In One Easy Step

I wrote recently about what I called The Tonic of Gratitude, the important and often under-practiced habit of realizing how lucky we are, and the usefulness of framing our actions and attitudes starting there.

The next step is expressing gratitude. Also under-practiced.

According to this research from the University of Texas, most of us are reticent to send thank-you notes. We think they could seem inept. We fear they will be awkwardly received.

Not true.

Any kind of thank-you, however composed, normally generates warmth at the receiving end. It is, say the researchers, a “prosocial” action that benefits both parties and — I like this — a “powerful act of civility.”

Imagine that. We can all commit a powerful act of civility simply by sending a thank-you note.

I got one the other day via email from a friend. It was this simple: “Good to see you tonight as always.”



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