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How Far Does a Kind Word Go

Article Date: 
9 July, 2010 - 06:00

Since my husband, Don, and I purchased The Morgan County News, we have published 32 newspapers, and it’s definitely been a lot of work. When that deadline is coming for the newspaper to go to the printer, it feels like… Do you ever have that dream where you’re running as hard as you can from something and you just can’t get away?  If you have, then you know the desperate feeling I am talking about.  If you could only stop time, but of course the time keeps ticking by and you just have to really hustle and do your best.  
I’m not complaining. I don’t mind hard work, but sometimes you can’t help but to sit back and say, “Is it all worth it?”
Last Thursday was one of the most difficult weeks for me.  All of the work ahead of me just felt like more than I could do, but I soldiered.  Next thing I knew, there was a pile of “hot off the presses” newspapers being delivered.  It’s pretty satisfying to see that…but, when I go through that paper, and I find mistakes that were printed…even just a comma out of place, it makes me want to work harder and do better.  So, I will.
The reason I tell you this is that right when I was having this bad week and almost felt like I couldn’t do it anymore; Don forwarded me an email that changed everything for me in that moment of despair.
The email was from a subscriber who needed to gain access to the website.  After she was set up and had thanked Don for his help, she continued, “I’ve also been meaning to send you a note for a while now…she went on to tell us how much she is enjoying the paper.  She had seen improvements where improvements needed to be made.  The best part was that she named the specific articles and information she feels benefit her the most… I am so grateful that she did not just “mean” to send the note, she actually did it.
Wow, just what I needed to hear at just the right moment.  I hope she is reading this so I can thank her in return.  You have no idea what it meant to me that you took the time to write those nice words of encouragement.  It totally changed my outlook and inspired me to push on…
I know that we all think to ourselves, “That really was nice of so-n-so, I’ll have to write them a thank you note,” and then what do we do?  We forget about it.  The truth is that sometimes we take people for granted…we think that they will always be there and we’ll catch them next time. Well, what if next time never comes?  
Have you ever considered what kind of a difference you might make?  I found a story on-line that explains exactly what I mean by a man named Steve Anderson (no relation) who was promoting his greeting cards.  He told the story about the CEO of the greeting card company. He describes him as a “prolific card sender.”
“…one day he had a prompting to send a card to the lady who plays the music at his church.  The following Sunday she pulled Cody aside and burst into tears.  She had been feeling depressed and unappreciated in life and was on the verge of quitting her role of playing music in the church.  On the day when her feelings were very low, she received Cody’s heartfelt card of thanks in her mailbox.  He let her know just how much her music meant to him and how much he appreciated the fact her music lifted his spirits every time he heard it.
“That was all she needed to hear and she instantly remembered why she played music in the first place.  So, can a card change a person’s life?  Well we will never know what would have happened if that dear lady did give up playing the music, but one thing is for sure, it helped her through a tough patch.”
So, to sum it all up…Don’t just think it, do it…Others can’t read your mind.  So, sign it, seal it, stamp it and mail it.  If you’re going the way of the day, address it, type it, and click it.  Either way, I promise you you’ll make a difference….and, to the person who sent along her thoughts to Don and The Morgan County News, I say, “Thank you back.  You definitely made a difference in my life, and I want you to know it.”