A noted author and lecturer was telling some dinner companions about what an old school teacher had contributed to his life. It was this teacher, he said, who first awakened his interest in literary attainments. It was she who first helped him develop his gift of expression. Whatever success he had attained as an author, he went on to say, got its start from the encouragement she had given him to develop his talents.
When the author finished the teacher's praises, one of his companions asked if he had ever thanked her for the spark she had given to his ambitions. For the first time he regretted not ever giving her any expression of appreciation for what she had done. That evening, after looking up her address, he immediately wrote her a letter of thanks.
Several days later a reply arrived. It was more heart-warming than anything he could have ever imagined. The teacher said that when she read his letter, she broke down and cried. She had taught school for 50 years, and he was the first of her former students who wrote her a letter of appreciation.
Her reply in turn, was a great thrill for the author. He began to think of all the others who had helped him attain success. From that time on, he made it a practice to mail a few "thank you" letters each week to people who arranged speaking engagements for him, or commented on his books.
With every letter he wrote, he gained a new appreciation of the goodness of others. People seemed more anxious than ever to help him. They were grateful to him for his thoughtfulness in giving thanks.