A post I wrote at my other blog. A young autistic boy gave me a special gift and a memorable lesson.
I believe it’s important to let people know they are loved and valued. Even if you don’t know them, I think we should always let people know they matter. I believe in using what you’ve been given to love others. We can all use our time, energy, creativity, gifts, talents and money to love people. What gifts and resources do you have that you can use to give to others? Maybe you can cook a meal for a single parent, read a book to a child, write someone a poem or a song, mow a neighbour’s lawn, or start a conversation with a stranger.
I created a list of ways that I can show people love and that they matter. These are ways that resonate with my interests and abilities, but there are many more ways to express love. Some people call these “random acts of kindness.” They are random in the sense that no-one has to do anything to receive them; they just have to be. Most of the time we only show love or acknowledgment when someone has done something for us, but everyone deserves to be appreciated. These acts can also be random in the sense that they are done occasionally, at the spur of the moment, almost flippantly.
I’d prefer “intentional acts of kindness” because I believe thought should go into appreciating people and the acts of kindness should be done regularly. Create your own list of ways to intentionally show people they matter and that they are loved, valued and appreciated. Here is my list and the ones I’ve done so far (I’ll hopefully share these experiences later):
- Pay for another table’s meal at a restaurant or café (done)
- Write a letter or card (hand-make a card) and send it to someone (done)
- Take it on yourself to be a photographer at a party or event then send the photos to people who were there – you can even frame the photos or do a scrapbook album (done)
- Post an encouraging note about someone on the internet, either privately or for all to see (E.g. Facebook, blog) (done)
- Pay an amount for the person next in line at the supermarket checkout, the service station or cinemas
- Get people to write encouraging messages to someone on pieces of paper then collate them all and give them to the lucky person (done)
- Buy a voucher or tickets and post them to someone
- Take someone out for a coffee, meal or movie and pay for them (done)
- Take note of things people say they would like then buy it for them (done)
- Let someone know how they’ve made an impression in your life – could be a teacher, a person you met once, a family member or friend (done)
- Buy a box of chocolates, flowers or another gift to say thank-you to someone for the work they do (E.g. A crossing lady, a retail assistant, a receptionist, the postie)
- Make someone a hamper
- Put some money in an envelope and send it to someone or drop it in a stranger’s letterbox
- Make gifts from photos (E.g. Calendar, book, mug, T-shirt, magnets, coasters) (done)
- When someone comments on how much they like something you own, remember it and give it to them later
What would be on your list? Have you done any of these? Share your experiences.