By Meredith Dean
Following graduation from The University of Georgia in May 2014, I took the plunge and moved up to New York City from Atlanta for my current job at Inside Edition, television’s longest-running, top-rated, and most-honored syndicated newsmagazine.
What you do today will affect what happens to you in the future. Yes, even as a middle-schooler and even as a high-schooler. If I wouldn’t have treated everyone the way I’d want someone else to treat me (throughout my entire life even if they hurt my feelings), I would have never had the kind of connections I do today nor would I feel so fulfilled as a recent graduate.
Towards the end of your high school or college career, you start realizing how much others have helped you to get the that final milestone. Finally, all of your hard work is paying off, but have you taken the time to thank the people that have gotten you to this point? From your parents giving you those words of encouragement when you thought your life was over with that terrible grade on a huge paper to your friends bringing you a cup of coffee in the wee hours of the night before a final, you couldn’t have done it on your own. That’s why it is of utmost importance to thank those people and thank them often. Not when it’s too late or not at the last second. The power of a thank you, generosity, and respect is such a powerful thing.
This power of gratitude can not only make you fulfilled as a student, but also make you a more confident person who can love him/her self while loving others. Giving advice or helping others passes on good vibes that can last a lifetime. A thank you can start a chain reaction of kindness and thoughtfulness being shared from person to person. Don’t you want to be a part of that? It’s good karma anyway.
One of my favorite quotes that supports my claims is by John Fitzgerald Kennedy. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” In other words, practice what you preach. In any situation I’ve been in, I never forget to thank those to help me along the way and do the same for others who reach out to me to mentor them.
For example, one of my professors in college even told me he would never ever write me a recommendation for a job because I was late to a meeting, but because of his teachings and connections, I ended up interning at CNN. I could have talked badly behind his back to every person I know because of how harsh his response to my recommendation request, but instead, I learned from him and showed him the respect he deserved. I thanked him for his tough love and showing me responsibility. Today, he is still a good friend and mentor not only to me, but also my current boss.
Thankfully, I have an outstanding boss who I can look up to and who even wrote a book about “Thank You Power” which is a New York Times Best-Seller. She never hesitates to show appreciation to every person from the janitor to her executive producer and even wrote me a thank you note when I brought her flowers for her birthday.
My advice to you is always follow the Golden Rule and good things shall come.