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Posts Tagged ‘nice things’

Just a reminder in this new year to be kind.

Check in with quiet people. They may need a kind word.

Don’t write that scathing comment in anger, but apologize if you do. (I’m recently guilty of this.)

Don’t troll people.

Do nice things without expecting anything in return.

Return the shopping cart to the store or the cart corral.

Step in to help a person who clearly needs it, even if it means standing up to other people. Scary, but necessary.

Be encouraging to the parent with the screaming child instead of throwing a dirty look. (Unless that parent is totally not being present and is on the phone. Totally different situation.)

Hang up the clothes that fall on the floor when you shop.

Change the empty toilet paper roll.

Compliment a person who annoys you and mean it.

Sincerely apologize when you’re wrong and accept responsibility. Don’t deflect or make excuses. Make it right.

Never stop learning about people and what makes them tick.

Learn about a culture new to you.

Being kind doesn’t mean being a doormat. Be kind to yourself, as well, and don’t let people treat you badly.

This world is a scary place right now, but there are also many good people out there. We can make it better. Even a tiny bit is better than nothing at all.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

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Last week, I got an email from the parent of a student who I had taught for two years, fourth and fifth grade. This child had been a delight, her family was supportive and amazing, and I will always have fond memories of them. If all of my students and families had been like them, I probably would have stayed in teaching.  I won’t show you the contents of the email, it’s private, but the gist of it was to show me how well this student was doing now and to thank me for being her teacher.  The thanks were profuse and overwhelming and beautiful.

I teared up. Immediately. I couldn’t speak for a few minutes, but I showed Marty Man and then quietly went on with what else I was doing. I went back later and reread it, but I was uncomfortable with those beautiful words. It took me, shamefully, a whole week to even think of something worthy to write back to them because I had to make myself sit down and do it. It wasn’t because I was too busy or I didn’t want to correspond with them, but because I have a really hard time accepting compliments and praise.

But then I thought about it some more. When I first read the email, I smiled and I felt honored and blessed to have received it, and that’s how I think they wanted me to feel. When you write somebody a wonderful, sincere, letter, you don’t expect them to get upset. You write it because you care about that person in some way and you want them to know that they mean something to you. You want them to be happy. If I wrote a letter to someone who meant a great deal to me, I would want them to feel happy when they read it and, like I said, part of me did feel happy before the self-loathing demons decided to rear their ugly heads. I was able to push past them and go back to that first happy feeling. (Accepting a nice compliment shouldn’t be this hard, should it? Anxiety and depression are very tiring sometimes.) After a struggle, I decided to accept what they had to say, cried a few happy tears, and printed out the email to keep forever in the fire-proof box with a grateful heart.

Aaaaand, that let me to thinking about other things. When was the last time you reached out to tell someone what they meant to you? A teacher, a friend, a relative, a neighbor? Someone who has no idea that they helped you in some way, someone who you regard highly? Tell them. Yep, that’s my challenge to you this weekend. Go out and tell somebody how they made your day, or your year, or your life. There are people who have gone out of their way for you at some point and you appreciated it. (If you didn’t appreciate it, shame on you!) Call them, text them, send them an email, send up a smoke signal, but tell them that in some small, or not so small way, they helped you along and you want to thank them. The world needs more positivity and love. Heck, we’re dealing with the crudest, most crass, vilest political candidates that I can remember (one in particular), there are terror threats everywhere, and the comment sections of the internet are filled with scary people, so don’t be like that. Telling someone what they mean to you is a nice thing to do and could just make their day. Who knows? They could turn it around and pass it on to someone else and so on. Will we change the world? Probably not, but we can make it a more pleasant place to be.

Do I truly accept every nice thing that that parent said about me? Well, maybe not. I do what I do the best way that I can, but I’m at the process point now where I can feel content that they think of me in that way. It’s a nice feeling. Now go pass it on to somebody else. Tell me about it in the comments section. I love to hear from you!

A presto…

 

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