This Is Why People Don’t Volunteer

. . . or at least one of the reasons.*  When people volunteer, instead of thanking these volunteers, people complain.  This Christmas season I was sure to thank my volleyball co-coach, Girl Scout co-leader, my girls’ teachers, and the school security team (especially in this day and age).  When my best friend and I facilitated various children’s religious classes, we were sure to thank parents for being so supportive and for making sure their kiddos attended the classes.  When  a friend stepped up at a recent Girl Scout meeting and showed close to 30 girls how to bake stuffed croissants, I thanked her.  I wanted her to know her value to my co-leader and myself as well as our appreciation.  When a woman blessing at our church took on the task of organizing a women’s conference, not once, but twice, I thanked her.  She did not have to partake in such an endeavor, but she did this out of her kindness for others and her willingness to create memorable experiences for others.

My point here is that there are endless chances to thank others, others who may never have been thanked before for their service, time, and effort.  Think about this, never been thanked before, not ever.  So, if you are bored, thank someone.  If you are depressed, thank someone.  If you are feeling lonely, thank someone.  If you are on Cloud 9, thank someone.  If you are frustrated, find someone . . . anyone to thank.  Have you thanked your postwoman or postman?  Have you thanked those who haul away your garbage?  Have you thanked the pediatrician who heals your kiddos?  Have you thanked the rescue where you found the latest member of your family (no matter how many pillows your new pet has destroyed)?  Have you thanked the faithful readers of your blog?  The friends you consider family?  The neighbor who gifts you with her coupons every week?  The people who feed your children day after day in school?  The children who allow you to experience childhood the way it should be experienced?

You could change another human being’s outlook if only for an instant, and this person may then decide to pay it forward.  Wouldn’t this world be a much better place if everyone took the time to thank AT LEAST one individual a day?

Who is that one person you are going to thank today?  C’mon, you can do it!

*This post is dedicated to my WalMart cashier who said she sends in cookies instead of cupcakes for her daughter’s school parties so that her daughter can manage the cookies on the bus.  She said she’s afraid if she sent cupcakes she would have to walk them into the school and stay and volunteer.