You and I share something in common even though we may have never met. No, it’s not our good looks. (That’s a given.) You and I both know people who changed our lives forever. They believed in us when we didn’t, let us fail when we needed to learn, and saw in us what we could not see in ourselves—and told us so. Yet all too often we do not tell these life-changing people how much they influenced us.
Instead, life gets in the way. Family gets in the way. Snapchat gets in the way. Soon time passes away, and sometimes the life-changing people do, too—and we haven’t let them know the one thing we most needed to say and they most deserved to hear: thank you.
Yes, we honor them with how we use the time we are given. But there’s a good chance these life-changers may not be aware of their full impact on us or, worse, may think we didn’t notice or didn’t appreciate it—although we did and we do! I’ve realized in my own life how we sometimes take these people and their impact for granted simply by failing to tell them thank you. When we say it, something powerful, personal and human connects us in a way that too often is missing in this world. We forge a link with them between our past, present and future, which their actions have forever changed.
My mom and dad had this type of lasting, important impact on me. They let me fail so I could learn to stand up on my own. It was tough love, but it was more love than tough. Thank you, Mom and Dad. I promise to text you pictures of your youngest grandbaby every week.
When I was 18, a professor told me that I was a good writer—even if I used too many commas. Thank you, Elota. I would not be writing this column without you. And I definitely would be using more commas.
When I was 20, I attended a big conference where I met Jack Canfield, the motivational speaker and author (probably best-known for the Chicken Soup books). He took me under his wing, telling me how he saw the world as an unlimited opportunity for helping others. He shared how his mentors had helped him and how he was going to help me. Jack was responsible for getting me on ABC’s The View, which was the “big break” that changed my career. Thank you, Jack, for believing in me.
You and I owe at least three thank-you’s to people who changed our lives. It’s time we step up and say to them: thank you! Do it today—you and your life-changers will be glad you did.