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Recently, I stopped at Babies-R-Us to purchase a gift card for a client whose wife had their third baby. What a thrilling and happy time for their young family!

I don’t know what they need for their new baby, so I thought a gift card would be the easiest so that they can buy what they want or need… diapers, clothes, blankets, etc. Typically I find gift cards to be rather impersonal, but after having my own baby I actually think gift cards are a God send! While I don’t encourage gift cards as presents, sometimes the gift cards really help me to show a gesture of kindness without all the stress of getting “just the right thing”.

I appreciate this client and the opportunity to support him and his family, so I am excited to express my gratitude and honor the birth of his newest child. Hopefully, my gift will be helpful to them.

Thank you!This blog isn’t about buying a present for my client, rather I wanted to share my surprising experience while purchasing the gift card. Here’s the skinny on the situation:

  • While checking out, the cashier asked me if I have a rewards card.
  • Just then, I saw a young mother with two babies walk up behind me so I turned to ask her if she has a rewards card so that she could take advantage of the points. She didn’t have it on her.
  • Cashier offered to look up the rewards card using her phone number. The system didn’t recognize her number. “Oh well,” shrugged the young mother in reply.
  • I said to the young mother, “Too bad you couldn’t take advantage of the points.” Barely a nod of acknowledgement.
  • Finishing my transaction, I kept waiting for a “Thank you anyhow” from the young mother… but it never came.
  • I left the store trying to not let the lack of gratitude affect me. But, it did.

As I drove home, I kept thinking about the lack of expressed gratitude… and I have to admit that I am deeply bugged by this situation because it’s an example of a growing trend. A trend that is NOT okay in my book.

I grew up in a family where “Please” and “Thank you” were expected and heard often. I hope that young mother was just distracted and didn’t realize that she failed to say thank you. I desperately hope more that she will teach her children to say “Thank you”. But, it seemed that she missed out on two things during our conversation: #1 – a teaching moment for her young children and #2 – an opportunity to simply connect with a stranger who was trying to do something nice for her.

Seriously, where have all the thank you’s gone? Please make an effort to remember to express gratitude often… It will only enhance your day and the person receiving your gratitude.