By Karen Holford, Family Ministries Director for the Trans-European Division
Kindness is one of the very best gifts you can give to another human being. It’s also one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Every time we’re kind, or even just think about being kind, it makes us feel good too. We can do lots of quick, simple and meaningful things that are powerfully kind for those around us. Here are 10 ready to give gifts of kindness:
The first thing is to welcome others, especially when they have completely messed up. When I dented my partner’s car, he gave me a big hug and checked out that I was OK and let me know that I was much more important to him than having a perfect bumper! That was super special! When we’ve made a mistake, and someone stays calm and accepts us anyway, that’s an incredible gift!
Stopping what we’re doing, putting away our phone, and giving people our full attention, is another special gift when everyone seems so busy and pre-occupied. Let them see that for a few moments they are the most important person in your world.
We all want respect. When people ask for our opinions, involve us in decisions, treat us as if we’re a little better than them, and speak in kind and respectful ways, it feels good. We can do that for others, too.
Affection is much harder now that we can’t hug each other as freely as we’d like! But we can still give pretend hugs, send warm and caring messages, or cut a life-sized pair of paper arms and post a hug in an envelope!
Just saying “thank you” is a gift too. The more you show appreciation to other people, the less likely they are to argue with you! It’s free and easy to do, so it’s worth a try!
The word “encouragement” means “giving heart to” someone else. Find out what their goals are, encourage their efforts, and give them the heart and strength to keep going.
Every day has its challenges and sore spots. We all need some TLC to help us make it through the day. When someone shares a sad story, or looks as if they’ve had a tough time, practice empathy and do something comforting to help them feel better. Cups of tea, listening, going for a walk, or doing something fun together, can all help.
There are all kinds of things to worry about and be afraid of…So don’t add to people’s fears. Treat them gently, find out what they don’t like, and help them to feel safe. Take your foot of the accelerator, lock the doors, keep your promises and protect them from harm.
Give a helping hand. The more things you do to help others, the better, especially without being asked. Doing the jobs other people hate will give you extra brownie points. And the more helpful you are, the less resentful they will feel, and the less arguments you will have, too!
Finally, let your loved ones know how special they are to you! “It’s great being your mum!” “I’m so glad you’re my wife!” “You make my heart smile!”
So, there you are! Ten free kindness gifts, all ready to share! They don’t even need wrapping! Try giving them away as often as you can and see the difference these “little” gifts can make.