The Wall of Gratitude

In my book, I describe how I tracked my first 365 thank you notes with a spreadsheet that included the name, address, the reason for my note, and the text of the first draft of my note.  When I was done, I tried printing it out, but it was no longer printable in any reasonable way. To fully view a print of the spreadsheet, I would have had to paste the partial printouts on a wall, and it would have covered most of the wall of a large room.  This, in a way, was my wall of gratitude. It listed the hundreds of people who had helped, cared for and loved me over the course of that year.

I have continued the spreadsheet, and it is more than twice as big today, a constant reminder of the good things in my life.  Viewing this wall, on my computer or on paper, I see that the life I was ready to cast aside was filled with blessings I did not bother to see.

Now with the help of Hyperion, I would like to create a virtual wall containing and pushing forth to the world the gratitude of my readers.  This is a place that you thank people that you cannot thank elsewhere, because they are no longer with us, or because you have lost track of them. This is a place where you can make your thanks public, to thank publicly people who have helped you, but you didn’t get a chance to catch their name. Maybe they will see your note.  Maybe they will respond. Maybe your life will change.

When You Can’t Write a Regular Old Thank-You Note

Some of the people who most deserve our thanks are no longer in our lives. For example, it was my grandfather, who first taught me the value of thank you notes. When I wrote him one, he sent me a silver dollar. When I wrote him another, he sent me another silver dollar.  But I stopped there.

As I learned through the thank-you note project that underlies this book, we receive silver dollars all the time, though many are emotional gifts or gifts of love. By being thankful for them, we open our lives to the possibility of getting another gift.

Sometimes, there are thank-you’s that you can’t write a note for. One of these is related in my book. One of the attendants at California Adventure’s Hyperion Theatre took me back in after one of the shows, and we searched row after row of seats to find my wallet. But when I asked for his name, he was shy. I don’t blame him. The kind of person who is always losing their wallet could be a little kooky. So anyway, I’m thanking him here, and in the book.

There could be other reasons you cannot thank someone. Perhaps they’ve moved from the country, or you’ve lost track of their address. Try doing it here, and see if you get another silver dollar.

Click to post a thank you.

Keepsakes:  Post a copy of your favorite thank you note.

So many of those who had received my notes told me how they still had them, where they posted them, and how the notes had inspired them to write thank you notes of their own. Perhaps you have a favorite Thank You Note that you have saved. Post it here and tell us what it meant to you, or how it affected you.

Click here to post a Thank-You Note and/or your story of how a thank-you note affected your life.

Did you receive one of my Thank-You Notes?

I did not save a copy of my Thank You notes.  The original notes are in the hands of those who received them.

From my view, the thank-you notes I wrote started a chain reaction of gratitude that eventually reached back to me, enabling me to receive the gratitude of others.

If you received one of my thank you notes, you have your own perspective on what happened. Post a copy of the note here, or just post a story of how the thank-you note affected your life.

Click to post a copy of the thank you note you received, or a story about how the note affected you, or both.

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5 Responses to The Wall of Gratitude

  1. Lou Mayer says:

    Dear John Kralik,
    I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for writing your book. My wife and I read it while on vacation this holiday week. We thoroughly enjoyed it! In fact, it has inspired us to begin our own routine of sending thank you notes. What a simple yet thoughtful way of letting friends and family how much we appreciate them and what they do for us. In this technology dominated society, it is important to get back to basics periodically. Handwritten thank you notes are a wonderful tradition that we should not let fade away. Thanks again for reminding us of their importance and impact. Happy New Year!
    Lou & Carol Mayer
    West Chester, PA

  2. John Mark Caldwell - Mark says:

    How do I purchase the book?

  3. Susan says:

    Please add my e-mail address to get your blog. Thank you. Susan

  4. lily says:

    I have been diagnosed with cancer of the kidney. I have had the operation done 6weeks ago and it was very traumatic.

    I am now undergoing chemotherapy and I feel all the prayers that are been said for me is getting me over not too bad.

    I have received many,many cards, but I do not know all the names. I would like to wrie a large notice on my local paper thanking my 2 wonderful children, my large immediate family, my wonderful friends and colleagues, nurses, doctors and everybody else for their prayers and support.


    Thank you


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