Lists grow long during times of celebration in our lives. From deadlines at work to meet the calendar year-end, to the long list of things you want to remember for family gatherings and special recognition of the one’s you love. Quick question; are you making this season about your list, or the people on it?
"...in the end, it is kindness that is remembered..."
Can you remember what you received as gifts last year? Or what food was served on New Year’s Eve? Likely there are one or two things that stand out from previous year’s celebrations, but they are not likely to be material things. Social convention can quickly feed into the more material aspects of celebration; the best food, the perfect gifts, presenting a “camera ready” home. Yet, in the end, it is kindness that is remembered, the majority of the rest becomes “debt debris” on your credit card.
"How do you make the people around you feel?"
Maya Angelou offers great wisdom to hold close at this time of year: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” How do you make the people around you feel? How would you like to make them feel? Make time for the little things, the kind word, small gesture, reassuring smile or an offer to sit and chat. While purchasing someone the gift they mentioned creates a lovely response, it is not as remarkable as kindness (and while kindness is a gift, it doesn’t mean you have to buy something to be kind).
"...make a new list. A list of how you want to feel..."
From doing something thoughtful for a boss, co-worker or a friend (like letting them know how they’ve contributed to more meaning in your working life), to making time for loved one’s over the holiday season (being spontaneous, inviting them in even if the house isn’t tidy), these are the things that make a difference and will be remembered. Rather than a list of things you want to do this holiday season, make a new list. A list of how you want to feel (and how you’d like to contribute to making others feel) – that list will put you right in the path of kindness. It’s the little things that make a big difference.
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I believe in giving back to others in many tangible ways. When I learn something new, or see something that might help others, I share it using my blog and website. You can always find my latest blog entries here, on Facebook or Linked In.