Recently in work one of my colleagues was sent a thank you note from a client who had attended a recent event organised by the company. While my colleague gets sent things regularly, the main thing that caught her attention and really stopped her in her tracks that day was this handwritten thank you card. Her initial reaction was “How does she find the time?” – put simply, the sender finds the time because she makes the time to be nice, something we should all pay attention to. It got me thinking that about how really, it costs nothing to be nice (except maybe a stamp and some loose change for a nice card in this case) – something we all need to be reminded of sometimes.
It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of everyday life and our own problems so much so that we often forget about those around us. Every now and again I have to remind myself that I have absolutely no idea what’s going on in someone else’s life in the same way that they have no idea what’s going on in mine. You also have no idea how someone’s brain works. They may come across as a very calm and collected person but in reality the thoughts going on in their head could be telling a completely different story.
I’m not suggesting that we have to start sending flowers to everyone as this blog title would suggest but feel free to send a bunch if that’s what you feel like doing – no one is ever going to complain about receiving flowers. It can be flowers, chocolates or another gift of some sort but it can also just be a simple thank you whether that’s in person, over email or through a hand written card. You wouldn’t believe how little gestures that took 2 minutes out of your day, can make someone else’s entire day. Equally, you wouldn’t believe how much an insensitive handling of a situation can bring someone down.
We live in a society that can really feel like it’s every man for themselves sometimes which makes life difficult for all involved. I understand the need to practice self care and put yourself first but it’s important to strike that balance between practicing self care, not surrounding yourself with negativity, looking after yourself first and foremost and still being a good person. This is something that author Sarah Knight talks about a lot in her book The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k and at one point even provides her readers with a diagram of how to handle situations in a way that stops you from wasting your f**k budget on things you don’t care about while not appearing to be an asshole (her words not mine).
I may be naive about a lot of things but believe it or not, I’m well aware that life isn’t all sunflowers and rainbows. All I’m suggesting is that next time you’re in a bad mood, think twice before snapping at someone irrelevant to the reason behind the mood. Next time you’re at a really beautiful event and you really enjoy yourself, thank the organiser. Next time you enjoy someone’s blog post/article/art/speech/music – whatever it is, take the time to tell them.
They may not remember your name and they may not remember what you wore that day but people will always remember how you made them feel. Positively or negatively, that’s what stands out to people and I don’t know about you but I would much rather the former. I’m thankful that my Mum brought us up to be polite kids and to treat people well even if that’s an attitude we need reminded of every so often. It costs you nothing to simply ask someone how their day went, make the effort to smile at them or offer to make them a cup of tea when you’re going to make yourself one anyway.
If you don’t want to take my word for it, fair enough but at least take a second to appreciate Maya Angelou’s wise words on the topic – she’s much more of an expert than I am.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Photos by Alex of This Beautiful Moment Photography