I noticed those words on a sign as I walked past a gift shop earlier today and it made me think. The perfect way to say “thank you” is to just say “thank you”. And, mean it. Gestures and gifts are a wonderful way of showing someone that we care for and value them. What really gives these acts meaning though is their sincerity.
Sincerity: The heart of the matter
Too often, I hear throw away apologies and thank-yous that are reluctantly delivered to appease. Not only are these hollow, they can also leave the receiving party feeling like they have not been acknowledged or appreciated at all.
The heart of the matter is that it really must come from the heart. A few heartfelt words are much more powerful than grand gestures that are designed to make a statement. What matters is if they come from a place of sincerity.
We can also get so distracted by surface behaviours that we fail to understand the true intents and feelings behind words and actions.
We are so obsessed with measuring everything in our culture today that we forget that linear scales cannot be applied to everything.
I was talking to a youth worker recently who described her challenge with getting funding because of a requirement for tangibly measured outcomes. How exactly do you measure the impact of emotional support given to a teenager growing-up in a challenging environment?
This problem is so pervasive that it influences even the simplest forms of human interaction; such as saying thank you. We can fail to recognise sincerity (or the lack of it) because we are looking for tangible signs of its existence. We can start to value elaborate gifts given insincerely over words of genuine gratitude.
Being sincere is one of the greatest gifts you can give to someone. Sincerity allows you to reach them at a deeply human level. Without sincerity, all our grand gestures and elaborate gifts are just that ― grand and elaborate, and ultimately without meaning.