What does it mean to connect with someone? These days, it seems like communication has been reduced to quick emails and even briefer Facebook posts. I can’t remember the last time I received a handwritten card or letter. Can you?

As a writer and communications professional, words have special meaning to me. I am always on the lookout for new ways to make people feel special, whether I am writing to a friend, a business partner or the members of the Sixty and Me community.

Recently, I came across a word that has special power. Now, I use this word on a daily basis and I am confident that it makes the people who receive it feel better about themselves and the world that they live in. That special word is “gratitude.” Let me explain.

A few months ago, I started using the word “gratitude” at the end of my emails. Instead of “Best regards” or “All the best” or “Warm wishes”, I started using “With gratitude.” I know this sounds a little bit odd, or even “new agey,” but, hear me out.

I have never, in my entire life, had someone comment on the words that I chose to close an email with. Since I started using “With gratitude,” several people have written to me just to complement me on these words. They said that they were unusual, authentic, warm and intimate.

Perhaps more important is the way that using these words makes me feel. We are surrounded by negativity on a daily basis. Companies are constantly trying to get us to compare ourselves to others, in negative ways. This, after all, is the only way that they can get us to buy things. Saying these words, several times a day, reminds me that I actually should be grateful for the people in my life.

There is a great quote, by Randy Pausch, who said,

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest and yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.”

Do you agree?

One of my favorite rituals involves creating a gratitude list. Basically, this involves listing all of the things that I am grateful for in my life – from the big things, like family and good health, to the small things like a tasty breakfast or brisk walk. I am also grateful for all of you, the members of our Sixty and Me community. Oh, and if I’m honest, I’m grateful for salted caramels and crème brulee!

Taking time to show my gratitude has become an important part of my life. I hope that it has for you too!

What are you most grateful in your life? Do you make a point every day to express your gratitude to the people in your life? Have you tried creating a gratitude list? Please join the conversation and “like” and share this article to keep the conversation going!

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