Sharing Love Day

 

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

Books are Important

 

When I was 9 years old, my brother’s girlfriend who was 16,  gave me a book for Christmas entitled the “Cuckoo Clock”.  It was written by Mary Louise Molesworth  (29 May 1839 – 20 January 1921) who was an English writer of children’s stories.    It is noted that this book was a childhood favorite of Agatha Christie.

It was the first hardcover book I ever received for myself and I read it over and over and over.   It was about a young girl named Griselda whose mother has died and she comes to live with her two elderly aunts.   Living in their old house, and when sleeping, believes she can hear the sound of the old cuckoo clock from downstairs and thinks it may be alive. The Cuckoo Clock is an important classic children’s tale of adventure and fantasy and has been a popular book among young children who are interested in books of magic and adventure.  Despite the time it was written (1877),  the story doesn’t seem  out-dated or  old fashioned.  The themes of loneliness, friendship, and growing up are timeless.

According to the comments on Amazon about the book, others have sought out the book decades after they have read it – which I did also.   My love for reading this book at an early age not only brought me back to how life was at a much earlier time, but how Griselda used  her imagination to have a relationship with the cuckoo.  He appeared at certain times of the day and from that relationship she evolved  to enter into human relationships with  children her own age.

Isn’t that what reading does?   We learn knowledge, wisdom, information, advice, and even moral lessons.   We ‘live’ in the pages experiencing a ‘visit’ to the ‘world’ of the book – even better than movies or TV shows.   It creates an atmosphere of sharing the book’s messages to someone else who has read it.  We visualize the characters in their setting and look forward to the next chapter and what happens next.

Today, many children do not read as much as they once did as they are distracted by cell phones, smart phones, social media and video games.   This can reduce or replace human conversations, and imaginative thinking.   It is sad that some people brag their children or grandchildren receive cell phones or smart phones at age 2 and can play games on them.   Maybe we should shelve these contraptions – along with the TV and instead read to our kids & grandkids.   Planned trips to the library may stimulate their appetite to read.   Maybe they will even read the Bible.   Collect their favorite books into their own small library.

I used to read stories to my kids every night at bedtime.   They listened intently.   One night we were going out to a social event and I hurriedly read his favorite night-time  book to my 3-year old son.   To hasten the time, I skipped over paragraphs as I read faster than usual.   After the third ‘missed’ paragraph, my son’s face turned red  and he blurted out, “Read it Right!!”     He listened.   And I went back and did read it right.

Encourage your little ones to read – and read to them.   Have a reading ‘time’ and be an example of reading alongside them. too.   You will encourage bonds with them and maybe even have a conversation about them.  Reading is a not a chore or only done for homework – it is a source of enjoyment and growing.    It will help with their schoolwork and broaden their lives.

Even when they grown up and are on their own or married, there are great books you can share with them and/or their own children.   More bonds to share.

Marie Coppola January 2019