Sunday, April 15

Thoughts on Thoughtfulness

My simple nature doesn’t always jive with modern day expectations. For instance, I'm not a big "texting" person... I personally think it's caused us to lose a lot of our social interaction with human kind.. with each other... with friends and family.... even with "strangers" who, in the past, have often become good friends as a result of thoughtfulness... but I will admit, texting does have it's place.

Another example... "paperless communication"... you know what I mean...  and I'm not saying that just because I love making my own cards and actually sending them through the "snail mail" ... remember... those guys who come into your neighborhood each day carrying their little packets full of envelopes and magazines and actually bring you mail (they're called mailmen or I guess now called mailperson).... Tell me you don't LOVE getting a card or note or even a hand written letter in the mail from someone who thought of you... much better than hearing from AARP (now how encouraging is that?? NOT!).

So that's what this is about... The importance of thoughtfulness... take a minute and honestly ask yourself "How exactly do I show people I care?" Here's some blurbs I took from an article I read... along with some more thought of my own too....

The danger with "modern day communication",  it lets us off the hook for thoughtfulness which is the base for a whole list of wonderful human interactions: love, joy, loyalty, friendship, tradition  (to name a few).

The truth is, you don’t have to spend a lot of either time, money or stress on thoughtfulness. Instead, find a way for thoughtfulness to happen naturally in your daily life – with a little planning, it can take as long or short as necessary.

Here are some pre-thoughtfulness practices to try:

  • Truly do things out of love, instead of obligation.
  • Really think about the person. Dwell on the reasons you love them. Think about happy times you’ve spent together.
  • Make their happiness a priority.

5 minutes or less

Everyone can find 5 extra minutes a day for thoughtfulness. Try practicing one of these simple actions. Here's where "Social Networking" has it's place...
  • Send someone an encouraging text. Even something as simple as, “I can’t wait to see you this weekend” can brighten someone’s day.
  • Write a kind note their Facebook wall or leave a comment on their Blog. 
  • Send an email. Keep a long distance relationships fresh.
  • Leave a sticky note with loving words.
  • Bring someone a cup of coffee.
  • If someone hugs you, pull them back to make it last a little longer.
  • Give someone a genuine compliment.
  • Say thank you while giving a hug or kiss on the cheek. Gratitude make a bigger impact with with the power of touch.

30 minutes or less

On the weekend or whenever you have some down time, spend a little longer on thoughtfulness. Print a list of special birthdays and holidays so you can easily come up with a plan and can be prepared.
  • Buy an unexpected treat and serve it on Monday. This gets the week off to a good start.
  • Call someone you love. Don’t multi task while you’re on the phone. Be completely focused while you talk.
  • Honor them on special days, like birthdays, Father’s day or grandparent’s day.
  • Honor them on regular days, too.
  • If you want to give a gift, pay attention to what they like ahead of time so you don't have to ask the person for ideas last minute. If you're thoughtful and truly care for them, you'll notice things about them. 
  • If you must, get some help to remember. Sign up for a reminder service like like Birthday Alarm or download similar app for your calendar.
  • Make your own cards for that special touch or even or purchase cards and mail them... that's better than not doing anything! 

1 hour+

Including those we love in our day-to-day life is so important. Go the extra mile and plan something extraordinary. You can spend as much or as little money as necessary.
  • Spend time with them. Visit your parents. Do something with your kids. It means the world to them.
  • Find out what their favorite meal is and make it as a surprise.
  • Coordinate an awesome surprise party just for them.
  • Plan a secret weekend getaway with your spouse. Take care of all the details like getting a sitter, lodging and a romantic activity the two of you can share.
  • Keep family and friend's personal interests in mind by planning an activity centered around a specific hobby, like a morning together shopping for fabric with your quilt-marker sister or spend a full afternoon watching classic old movies with your movie-buff friend.
  • Bake their favorite cake.
  • Foster the art of thoughtfulness with your children by including them in the process. Take them shopping to pick out Father’s Day gifts. Include them in planning their sibling’s birthday parties. No doubt there will be a chance to teach a lesson on selfishness at the same time. :-)

kindness + mindfulness

I still believe society has placed too much attention on buying stuff as the solution for thoughtfulness. Mindful actions can help change that. We can still buy greeting cards and gifts if we want.  Or, simply bake a loaf of bread to share. Enjoy a concert together. Go on a picnic and feast on fresh air. Take a walk on the beach together. You get the idea!

When you combine kindness and thoughtfulness you just can't go wrong!

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