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Oscar Wilde, the Irish poet and playwright, said, “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”
Thanksgiving provides us with the opportunity to show our gratitude for our bounty and the people in our lives. In addition, this time of year sets the stage for showing kindness to those around us—some of whom we might have neglected. For example, how often have you said,
- “I wish I called my aunt to thank her for all the things she’s done.”
- “I keep meaning to write to my friend’s uncle who talked to me about jobs.”
- “Phil, my coworker, has been ill, I should send a text.”
Although you, (like these people), may feel rushed, stressed, or forgetful. Yet, opportunities abound for you to move from good intentions to positive action.
Here are a few ways you can spread kindness at Thanksgiving time:
- Call to say hello to a distant relative or friend. Don’t know what to say? How about, “I don’t really know what to say, except: “Hi. I thought of you and realized it has been too long since we last connected.”
- Stop to chat or send a thank you/appreciation note to the “invisible staff” that cleans the office or tends to the grounds.
- Touch base with those who have been ill or lost a loved one. Send a card, text, phone message such as, “Just thinking of you during this holiday time.”
- Let a store manager know when a clerk has been especially helpful.
- Bring a smile and a cup of coffee or other snack to a coworker.
No need to be terribly creative. Her are additional suggestions:
- Just spend one minute to pay attention to a stranger by opening a door or letting them go in front of you in line.
- Give an extra bit of change to a charity.
- Smile more often
- Pay a few compliments
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter or other organization
Acts of kindness are important for the giver as well as the recipient. The giver feels more valuable and alive. The recipient also feels more valued and touched–one smile can make someone’s day.
If you are grateful, then you are in a perfect position to make a conscious effort to bring a bit of kindness to those around you—at work, at home, or in the community. Happy Thanksgiving!
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