When I was in the Navy, it was really easy to feel frustrated that none of my hard work mattered. I felt like no matter how much I did, it was never enough to satisfy my superiors. I was angry at regulations that hurt Sailors more than they helped them. I often felt like I wasn’t making a difference like I’d wanted to when I joined the Navy.
One small act by a Sailor in my division changed all that. Before I left the command, he gave me an envelope with my name on it. He told me I could open it and read it if I wanted to. Curiosity got the best of me, and I opened the card. It was a thank-you note. He had written it to tell me how much I had meant to him over the last year. He wrote that I was the only person who always had time to listen to him and try to help him with his problems. He claimed that the kind of leader I’d been was the kind of leader he wanted to be one day. Tears filled my eyes as I read his words. He shook my hand and wished me luck with the rest of my career.
I still have his note years later. Whenever I feel like what I’m doing doesn’t matter, I take it out and read it again. It reminds me that the little things I do for those around me really do make a difference. Because that one little hand-written thank-you note meant so much to me, I’ve tried to pass it on. I let people know how much I appreciate their help. I’ve written notes to old teachers and other coworkers. I hope that they made them realize how important they are.
Is there someone in your life who could use a “thank you”? Please consider putting your feelings in writing. You could even give it anonymously. You have no way of knowing what that person is going through, but your positive words could be the encouragement they need to keep going. I don’t know if that Sailor even remembers giving me that card, but it made such a difference in my life and altered the way I looked at my contribution and may career and, I will never forget it.
By Lauren Raines for Uplifting Woman
**Lauren, thank you for being of service to our country and thank you for being an amazing part of Uplifting Woman! **
Image courtesy of (Stuart Miles) Freedigitalphotos.net