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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

LITTLE THINGS THAT SHOW WE CARE




I've had it on my mind this week to write about the little things people do to express care and concern for one another. And as often happens when I have an idea, I picked up a book today that is about that exact thing--creating an attitude of concern for others. The book is titled, "Things Happen When Women Care." I haven't read it yet, but it looks like a book I'll enjoy.

We all want to feel special, loved, and cared for. I don't know anyone that doesn't enjoy that feeling, including me. So to write about it, I only need to ask myself what makes me feel that someone cares. I'm guessing the answers are probably the same for everyone, but the order of importance might vary.

For instance, some people might easily overlook a promise that's not kept, but for me, following through with what you say you're going to do is just common courtesy. Of course, forgetfulness is forgivable, but when someone makes a habit of telling me they're going to do something and then not doing it, I feel they don't care enough to put action behind their words.

Another thing that makes me feel cared for is having someone reach out and ask how I'm doing. I don't mean the casual, "How are you?" that you get from someone as they walk by, I mean a phone call or a letter, something more personal. E-mails are better than no contact, but it's nice to hear a human voice and there's something really special about cards and letters that e-mail can't match. I'm trying to get better at reaching out to others. I don't call my family enough and I'm not good at remembering birthdays. I should call my friends more often just to chat. We don't realize how powerful a caring voice is, how much it can brighten a person's day.

One thing I am pretty good at is sending Thank You cards. Words of appreciation is something we all like to hear. I could probably send several Thank You cards a week if I were really good at keeping track of deserving recipients. Sometimes just saying it is enough. We never get tired of hearing words of praise, compliments or thanksgiving. It makes us feel appreciated.

Something else that makes me feel appreciated is a warm welcome. I've often walked into a place of business and felt invisible. Especially if it's a small business, people should be greeted when they enter. I remember a certain business that I frequented almost every day and not once was I ever greeted with a smile or a "Hello." This was a business that catered to children so I was there because of my son. But I couldn't help but form an opinion of unfriendliness in that atmosphere. Some people don't realize how much a warm greeting means to most people. If given a choice between two similar businesses and one has a friendlier atmosphere, guess which one I'm drawn to? The same one you'll be drawn to.

That's why people with a gift of hospitality are always surrounded by others and invited to so many events. People are drawn to them because they are so good at making people feel special and welcome. Those people have learned the importance of small acts of kindness and concern for others.

A friend of mine recently observed a man walking in front of his girlfriend. He made no effort to keep pace with her but walked ahead of her as if he wasn't even with her. She predicted the relationship wouldn't last. Women love those little things that men do to make them feel cared for-- you know the open doors, the pulling out chairs when they sit, and just being attentive to their needs. I still get a tingle when my husband opens a car door for me. Smart men know this about women and they make the effort.

Little things make a difference. Those who make that extra effort to make people feel special are often rewarded for it. They might have a more profitable business, a more exciting social life, more friends, or a girlfriend who's more likely to stick around.

So if we have so much to gain, why don't we do those little things more often? Every day brings opportunities to make someone feel special and cared for. Let someone go ahead of you in the grocery line. Hold a door open for someone. We call them "little things" because they don't require a whole lot of effort, but to the person on the receiving end of our thoughtfulness, those little things are big things.




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