It started out as a childhood chore, one my heart truthfully wasn't always entirely in.
"You can go play once you've written your thank you cards!"
I would hear these words issue from my mother's mouth every March and January, after birthday and Christmas gifts had been unwrapped for a few days. All I wanted to do was play with my new toys, but there was always the pressing task of writing out a thank you card first. Expressing gratitude in person wasn't enough; from a very young age, Mom instilled in my sister and I the necessity of sitting down to write an old-fashioned thank you card after receiving a gift. As she put it, there was something especially meaningful about receiving a brief note of gratitude in the mail. It was more authentic.
What began as an annoying task is now a meaningful ritual for both my sister and I. To this day, I receive more thank you cards from my sister Cassie then I do anybody else. I send them out in troves, too. It's a lesson that's stuck. Nick and I had friends from Atlanta stay with us over the weekend and when they left yesterday afternoon, I discovered a beautiful hand-written thank you note from them in our guest bedroom. It touched me. Gratitude always does.
As Randy Pausch said in The Last Lecture, "the simplest yet most powerful thing humans can do for each other is show gratitude." Pausch argues in his book (a magnificent read if you haven't checked it out — a collection of life lessons from a dying professor) that the power of a handwritten thank you note is unparalleled, and could even help parlay an individual into business or academic success.
Simply put, showing gratitude in the form of a hand-written thank you note is a rarity in our streamlined iMessage-centric culture. Which makes it even more powerful... and necessary.
When Gramr Gratitude Co. emailed me a month ago with the subject title, "Hi Laura! I would like to send you some snail mail." I was immediately intrigued. Gramr is the heart of San Francisco-based childhood friends Matt Richardson and Brett McCollum who believe fervently that gratitude changes everything. Gramr marries amazingly beautiful card stock paper with gorgeous photography to create unique thank you cards. This is more than a routine trip to Papyrus to find an overpriced box of cards from an anonymous designer. Gramr is an extraordinarily well-designed and thoughtful solution: beautiful cards dropped off on your doorstep every month (stamps included), just waiting to be opened, filled out, and delivered to your grandmother, favorite barista, or family friend.
I am honored to be partnering with Gramr. I believe in what these guys are doing, and can't wait to see how they will revolutionize gratitude. Gramr is currently killing it on Kickstarter — check out their campaign to learn more about the movement.