Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” Barbara De Angelis
How do you communicate kindness and love?
We are not talking about greeting cards here. Although, Hallmark makes a good profit on all those cards most of us send to loved ones. Just for the record, Valentine’s Day is the 2nd most celebrated holiday in the U.S. after Christmas.
Sending greeting cards can express the card’s sentiments for you – but you can communicate love and kindness in other ways. Here are some ways to give the best you have because you care.
1) Visit a friend in need, who could really use a visit and LISTEN to what he or she is telling you. Just listening, without interrupting, is one of the best ways to care about someone. Don’t offer advice or opinions. Just listen.
2) If someone tells you a juicy tidbit of gossip, don’t repeat it. Let it die with you. Gossip is hurtful and serves no purpose to repeat it. The old adage, ‘Don’t believe anything you hear and half of what you see’ is a good one.
3) Make a phone call to an ill, homebound person and just say hello. It will mean much to them and may uplift them. Better yet, stop in and see them – and bring them a treat; a flower or a sweet. Or bring along some home-made chicken soup. The real treat is seeing you and having company.
4) Help out a frazzled mom and offer to take her kids to the library or some other function. It’s an hour or two out of your time; it will mean the world to her.
5) Visit one of the nursing homes and bring some travel toiletries or small gifts. Some of the live-ins there may not have had a visitor like you for years.
6) Listen patiently when your next-door senior neighbor complains yet again about barking dogs. It may be the only communication he or she has had all day.
7) Give the woman in church who is celebrating her 80th birthday – a hug. She may not have been hugged in a long time. It’s a gift she will remember. Elderly seniors who live alone are usually in need of affection and hugs.
8) Write a heartfelt letter to someone who has done a kindness for you. Don’t email or call your thank you. Write him or her a note or letter – hand-written messages are becoming a rarity – and are special to the receivers.
9) Invite a recent widow or widower over for dinner. They are not used to eating alone and will welcome the invitation.
10) Check your pantry for extra cans that may be expiring in the next months. Donate them to a Helping Hand or Outreach program. These organizations pass foodstuffs quicker than they will expire. You may end up throwing them away — and someone will be extremely grateful for them.
11) Surprise a special child or your own or grandchild and plan a drop-in lunch visit at their school after you have checked in at the office. Watch their eyes light up when they see you walk in. Small children thrive when you show them special attention.
12) Some valentines come in packages and contain just a happy greeting – no mushiness. Buy a couple of packs and send them to everyone you know who is alone, divorced or lost a spouse. Valentine’s Day can be a lonely one for singles and unattached folks. It will uplift them. And you, too.
Small acts of kindness may be the best that you can give. – it costs very little when you care and share your love.
© Marie Coppola, January 2019 revised