I really loved this article "It's the Small Things" that talks about how it is the little things in life that are really important to people. My Grandma was the woman who ALWAYS had a card for me on Halloween and Valentine's day, even when I thought it was silly. And then, when I started college and got those cards every few months, even if they didn't say much, it was nice to look into my mailbox and see something more than just a few flyers that I had to hang on the walls for my residents (I'm a former residence hall RA).
But the author's main point was that this applies to your online life as well as offline. Always responding to emails, or sending one if you're more technologically savvy than card writing genius. And I guess in a way, that's what everyone is worried about with Gen-Y we think we're deserving of everything and more and we forget to thank and acknowledge everyone along the way, or that we're too busy creating our personal brands or start-up companies to thank our inspirations, our childhood heros, or even just our Moms and Dads who let us live with them when our life plans didn't work out.
I think its a good lesson to remember. We live in such a fast paced world, and especially with these hard economic times, where everyone is just trying to not only stay afloat but to get ahead and if you're so busy getting ahead its really easy to leave everyone else behind and forget those Valentine's day cards or that thank you email you've been meaning to send for weeks.
I have a friend who has ALWAYS been the best at that. Always remembering to call to check in on me (especially during college in those weeks she knew I was having a tough time) or offering to sit up late at night on the phone with me when I needed it. And it was in those moments that she went out of her way to do small things for me that really showed me she cared, and I think that its important to stop and take that extra moment to do that for someone because you never know when you might need them...or vice versa and you want to be there when it happens. And besides, just think how much more productive you'll be because your day has just been made awesome by getting a fun card or cute email from a friend or colleague who just wanted to say "hi"
So go on, don't just sit there...do something small and make someone's day!