THE MOST ANCIENT ART OF THANKING YOU KINDLY
If we each take a moment to think of all the people we’ve had a reason to thank today for example, it’s surprising how many there might be.
Perhaps the barista who served up your morning coffee on the way to work? Or the stranger who helped pull your heavy luggage onto the train?
Then there are life’s bigger moments of gratitude – occasions that call for something a little bit extra.
They might not come along as often, but when they do they deserve to be recognised.
Actress Greer Garson certainly believed so. The screen star delivered the longest acceptance speech in Oscars history when she was given the Best Actress award in 1942 for her role in Mrs Miniver, clocking in at an impressive six minutes.
MEMORABLE In fact, Cadbury founders George and Richard Cadbury delivered a memorable ‘Thank You’ of their own. Determined to help improve the lives of workers at the Bournville factory, the brothers set about building a site full of green space, playing fields and homes with gardens where workers could thrive away from city pollution.
Such facilities were simply unknown in Victorian Britain.
Cadbury Roses were even named after the beautiful rose garden in the grounds of the Bournville factory.
There’s no doubt that how you choose to say “Thank You” is very personal. But every gesture, big or small, will always be appreciated.
Social media and the widespread use of smartphones have revolutionised the way we communicate gratitude, delivering the opportunity for a very timely and prompt ‘Thank You’ communicated with a quick emoji or a short text message. They add another dimension to the, still very welcome, handwritten note or little gift.
APPRECIATION In fact, with so many different ways to say “Thank You”, it can be a little bit confusing knowing the most appropriate way of doing so! Cadbury Roses has been helping people say “Thank You” for almost 80 years. Whether chosen as a small token of appreciation, or gifted to mark a more poignant occasion, generations of families have enjoyed giving and receiving this iconic treat. And with World Gratitude Day approaching next Thursday (September 21), we thought it would be a good moment to remind readers to reach out and thank someone – because a little ‘Thank You’ goes a long way.
HUGE IMPRESSION Perhaps a friend has invited you over for dinner, a colleague has helped you at work, or a stranger has unexpectedly come to the rescue in a difficult moment? While a small gift or ‘Thank You’ note is a lovely way to show your gratitude, our busy lives can mean it is easy to forget. But as etiquette expert Grant Harrold explains, small gestures like this will make a huge impression and continue to give pleasure to the person receiving them long after they’ve been delivered. “I have all the handwritten ‘Thank You’ letters friends have written to me in a folder, where I can look at them again and re-read them,” he says. British manners, punctuality and politeness are considered by many across the world as national traits.
But how has the British “Thank You” evolved over the years?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English word “thank” derived from the word “think” around 450AD.
Up until this time, people would typically express their gratitude by saying: “I think of you kindly.”
This evolved to become “I Thank You” which was then shortened to “Thank You” around the 14th century.
That later became “thanks” and, by the 18th century, simply “ta”.
HERO Matthew Rees (right) with the runner he helped, David Wyeth