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All of us like to feel valued and appreciated. However, it is easy for most of us to go through our day forgetting to complete simple acts of kindness.

My husband is in sales, and much of the time he travels. I try to find little ways to tell him that I appreciate his work and that I will miss him while he is gone. I might stick little handwritten notes in different parts of his suitcase. One time I made him a set of note cards with numbers marked on the front to show him when he should open them. Once when he came home, I had a welcome home banner across the door. I like to wait till he least expects it and then I surprise him!

Peter is also very good at surprising me. Every day as he drives to work, he calls my cell phone and leaves a really sweet message – usually telling me about the weather, the traffic, to have a great day and always to remember how much he loves me!

I learned how rude people can be when I worked as a receptionist at a well known beauty salon in Atlanta. The ladies would leave the salon making sure they had their next appointment. I remember they would speak to me as if I was totally unintelligent – making sure I had their appointments correct. Then they would dismiss me or say something demeaning. I never let it bother me.

Instead, I felt sorry for some of them. I know when you treat another person poorly, you don’t have a good opinion of yourself.  Do not misunderstand me, for every lady who was rude, there were ten that were very mannerly. This made my job fun and it also gave me a new perspective of what people who deal with the public go through day after day.

I wasn’t always thankful and appreciative. It was not a skill that was taught to me during my “growing up” years. It is a skill I taught myself, or perhaps I learned from observing the many good people that came through my life. I have learned that in order to have peace in my life, I must first make someone else’s life better.

I remember when I was first learning this new-found skill. It was around Father’s Day. I wanted to do something special for my dad so I sat down and wrote a list of all the good times I could remember with him. I think it was a list of around 25 or 30 things. Stuff like – remembering when he would take all of the cheerleaders to the Dairy Queen for ice cream after a game! I just wanted him to know how special all of those memories are to me. He loved it!

I am glad to say this skill of appreciation and thanks has become second nature to me. When I wake up, the first thing I do is to thank God for the day! At the gym, I try to always greet the front desk people with a smile and a word of thanks when I leave. When I take a workout class, I make sure to thank the instructor for a good class. At a store I try to be patient with the sales people and I always say thank you for helping me. At the hair salon I am very courteous with the reception staff – since I’ve been there, done that. When I cross paths with the mail carriers, I say thanks and if it is a hot day I ask them if I can give them a cold bottle of water. The man who tends to my yard and garden works so hard doing such wonderful work. I always make sure he knows how much he is appreciated.

These are just little examples of showing kindness and appreciation. My friends know from experience that sometimes I will surprise them with a card in the mail or a handwritten note. I’m sure e-mails have their place, but little handwritten notes or letters are so much more personal. If you have to use a computer, utilize some of the terrific internet card sites. When I send an e card I use the Jacque Lawson card site. I’m sure there are several others.

They say if you do anything for 21 days in a row, it becomes a habit. For the next 21 days, take time to appreciate the people you live with, work with and encounter throughout your day. Find little unique ways to make other people feel special.

Remember, everyone needs to feel valued and appreciated. If you are a kid, teen, or young adult, then appreciate your parents and your teachers. Try to look at things from their perspective. Adults, try to remember when you were a kid! Workers, think about what you can do to make your workplace a more peaceful place. Maybe that employee just needs a pat on the back or some understanding about something he/she might be going through at home. Employees, maybe your boss needs the same consideration.

Take time to thank someone and appreciate those who assist you in your day. Stop a moment to share this article/blog with someone. Let’s all work together to share little notes of appreciation and words of thanks. It WILL make a difference!

Sincerely with Love,

Mary Ellen Ciganovich

Photo Credit: Max Elman

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Mary Ellen Ciganovich is an educator, author and inspirational speaker.

Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, she was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of six. She went on to attend the University of Georgia and graduated Magna cum Laude in Education. While at Georgia she became a member of the Beta Sigma Chapter of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

After graduating, Mary Ellen taught middle school for over 15 years. She was also instrumental in the existence of a two mile long nature trail in Danbury, Connecticut. Mary Ellen put together a book of environmental activities for teachers and students to use while on the trail. She was presented a key to the city of Danbury by the mayor.

In 1986 Mary Ellen was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Once again she didn't let this get her down. Instead she learned about MS and decided to create her own picture of MS. Mary Ellen is very strict about what she eats, uses herbs, vitamins, meditation, lots of exercise and some prescriptions to keep her MS "monster in its cave."

The teachings in her book, Healing Words, Life lessons to Inspire, are words Mary Ellen lives by daily. Her book, published through Tate Publishing was released nationally in February of 2011. Mary Ellen was also a featured writer in Caroline Shearer's book, Women Will Save the World.

Mary Ellen speaks to many groups on topics ranging from,"Awareness of the Self" to "Parenting" and the "Healing of Relationships." She also speaks to groups on the topics of Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis as those are the situations she had to deal with in order to learn the many healing principles that she needed to learn.

She has been married for over 13 years to Peter Ciganovich and she has one grown daughter Stephanie who lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona. You may contact her by e-mail at [email protected] or connect with her on Facebook to receive her "Truth of the Day," posted Monday through Friday.

For more information, please visit

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Thanks for a great reminder for all of us to appreicate the people who are in our lives. Saying thank you takes little energy yet has lasting effects for all involved. Kindness goes a long way.

  2. Very well written article. It reminds us to always be grateful for all of the blessings that we have in our lives, which come in many forms.

  3. As someone who has “crossed paths” with you on many occasions, I can truly say you are indeed a very gracious and appreciative lady. I loved the article — thank you.

  4. What a great article. We all need to be reminded to be grateful and thankful of the blessings in our lives and the wonderful people who form the fabric of our experiences. Thank you Mary Ellen for writing this article. We appreciate you!

  5. Thank you for reminding us that just a simple word of thanks can mean the world to someone that never feels appreciated.

  6. Thank you for the article. It reminds us that every day is a gift and an opportunity to show our appreciation and gratitude to all of the special people in our lives.

  7. I loved this article! What a wonderful reminder of how we should live our lives each day.
    So often we forget to let our friends and family know just how much we love and appreciate them. This motivates me to do a better job. —— Thanks Mary Ellen

  8. What a lovely article!!! It shows how sweet a person you are. Caring for everyone. I would say God Bless you.

  9. M.E.C. you once again have spoken like a trooper!! In short I must say I agree with the acts of kindness, show and cherish the LOVE you have now while you have it, as with the world we live in today it can so quickly be gone or taken from us! You don’t really miss the LOVE that you have until it is gone, or something happens! Don’t wait until tomorrow show that LOVE TODAY!!! Thanks for the words of wisdom! YOU M.E.C. are an awesome woman filled with much guidance for others!! MUCH LOVE! “WYLEANER” L.V.Q.O.

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