CLINE: The importance of saying ‘thanks’

Todd Cline

Todd Cline

After last week’s storm you hear a lot of people giving thanks. For anyone who had troubles it is a very personal appreciation for the help they received, the push out of a ditch, the shoveling off of their drive way, the fixing of their power outage.

It works the other way as well, with people being grateful their power stayed on, appreciative for work that may have been called off or delayed, thankful that the trees surrounding their house saw fit to stay upright no matter how much the ice and wind tired to convince them otherwise.

In that spirit of thankfulness, the city of Duluth has declared next week Public Works and Police Appreciation Week. It’s a chance to let the residents of Duluth thank the people who kept their city safe during the storm, a process that was emulated around the county last week.

Duluth has designated each day of next week for the occassion, asking locals to participate on the following: Cookie Day on Monday, Chip and Dip Day on Tuesday, Cake Day on Wednesday, Snack Day on Thursday and Thank You Card Day on Friday, which will also include an appreciation luncheon for the members of the public works team. It was a no-brainer of a decision, Duluth’s mayor said.

“This staff spent three days working out of the facility, not going home, to provide 24-hour service to Duluth citizens,” Nancy Harris said. “I have received many accolades and notes of appreciation about the city staff. We listened; our citizens want to show their appreciation by recognizing the efforts of public works and public safety.”

Those wishing to participate can drop off items at the public works facility, located at 2450 Chattahoochee Drive, the public safety facility located at 3276 Buford Highway, or City Hall between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. any day next week. The city asks that you RSVP items you would like to bring to Maggie Waddell by emailing her at mwaddell@duluthga.net no later than Wednesday, Feb. 26.

It’s a neat idea, and kudos to Duluth officials for thinking of it. Workers from all Gwinnett cities deserve our thanks, as do the many police and fire department employees and all others who worked diligently to ensure our safety and get us through the storm. They all deserve a slice of cake, a cookie or a thank you card echoing those sentiments, but a firm handshake or a verbal “thank you” would also suffice.

I think Duluth is on to something with its appreciation week. We need to find more ways to express thanks, and not just when disaster strikes. There is a lot to be thankful for, even on days when the forecast calls for clear roads and skies and the TV news folks aren’t trying to convince us that the world is about to end.

The digital age has altered the way we communicate, with written correspondence seeming to be on its last legs. Few people send letters these days and notes of thanks aren’t as prevelant. The most prominent thank you notes these days are likely the ones used during the running bit by new “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, who uses the old school notes as a way for new age comedy — a voice over verbalizing what the comedian is writing on the card. (Sample: Thank you, pita bread, for being a great combination between wheat and envelopes.)

It’s a funny bit, no doubt. But Jimmy writes more notes in those two-minute skits that most folks do in a lifetime. The humor is much appreciated, and maybe in his own way the comedian inspires some folks to mail off a note of their own.

In a world filled with sarcasm and irony, Duluth’s appreciation week idea is a reminder that there’s always a place for a heartfelt thank you, no matter what form it takes.

Email Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Wednesdays.