I wrote a ‘thank you’ note today, digging my fountain pen out of the drawer to do so. It took me back to a previous era (one in which i used my fountain pen often enough that i did not have to spend twenty minutes clearing the dried up ink and finding a new cartridge for it). Bad as my handwriting is, i was rather pleased with the effort, because saying ‘thanks’ feels good.
I was reminded of this page from ‘Social Leadership: my 1st 100 days’. It’s one of the ‘Action Days’, around half way through the journey, when i talk about saying ‘thanks’. Part of Social Leadership is not having the answers, but creating the space, and respecting those who do.
Most recently, i’ve been using really cheap plastic coins with groups, and calling them ‘coins of gratitude’: the group claim a coin by sharing a vulnerability, and can then spend it to someone in the room, or someone outside of it. It’s often a very emotional exercise, with tears and hugs. But the coins are worthless, at least if we measure worth in monetary terms. In fact, they are insultingly cheap and plasticky. It’s the value we imbue in them that counts: we create the value of the currency.
Gratitude is cheap, yet priceless. See where you can spend yours.