Love doesn’t have to cost anything
Stan Faryna and I were chatting on the Facebook chatbox about ideas for blog posts. I suggested a blog post about things we could do for others with out using a lot of money. Money is tight for a lot of people these days. But that doesn’t mean the love has to stop. Stan said it was a great idea, but he asked me not to mention him in this blog post. He felt that me mentioning him in almost every blog post might be trying on all my other friends. “Oh hush,” I said!
The men and women that perform public service often go out of their way and take out of their own time to serve the public. Yes, there’s bad apples out there, but I personally know government workers that often go out of their way to do the job right. They usually don’t get much thanks for it either – as if going out of their way was in the job description. So here’s some ways you can give them love and thanks.
(1) The mailman (or woman) doesn’t get the same welcome and thank you that they used to get. During the winter, we used to give him or her, a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate when they came by the house. In the summer time, we had a cold drink waiting for them – water or ice tea. Things are different now, but you can still be waiting for them with a hot drink in a styro-foam cup. Or a bottle of water.
(2) Likewise, the trash man doesn’t get a lot of appreciation. They come early in the morning. Around the holidays, you can tape a five dollar bill to the trash can with a note saying, Thank you and God Bless!
(3) If you have frequent business with government office workers, bring flowers and candy and remind them that you know it’s not government that’s doing it’s job, it’s them. It’s people – it’s them that solve your problems, answer your questions, and make it all work. The flowers and candy don’t have to be the most expensive – the intention counts.
(4) If you see a man and woman in U.S. military uniform, thank them for their service. Give them a handshake, hug, or say, God bless you. Do it with a smile and mean it. It will touch their heart.
The elderly remind us that we don’t live forever. They remind us we’re not always going to be as strong or fast as we used to be. In their humility, they share their humility with us. They also give us an opportunity to share our kindness and empathy with them.
(5) When you’re in line at the cashier of your grocery store and you find yourself behind an elderly person, offer to help them unload their cart or basket. Propose it to them with a kind smile. Be gentle, gracious, and patient whether or not they accept your help.
(6) You might also offer to help them load their groceries into their car – if the store does not have someone there to load cars. Make your offer of kindness in front of everyone so that the elderly person can be sure that your intentions are to help them – not to take advantage of them.
(7) Bring good books and interesting magazines to a senior care facility near you. Bring them that great science fiction novel or romance that you just told all your friends about. Don’t bring them a book you didn’t like and don’t bring them a magazine that is many years old. Like you, they are curious about what is happening in the world right now.
Our friends that we make online can be some of the best friends ever. We share our troubles and joys with them. My online friends encourage and support me each in their own way, but often with a lot more attention and commitment than my offline friends.
But I know that sometimes they need me and they are embarrassed to ask. And it’s not like I’m going to know what’s always happening to them because I’m not showing up unexpectedly at their front door when I haven’t heard from them in a few days.
(8) Try to remember you’re in a real relationship with a real person who needs to often hear things from you like Good Morning, Good Night, How are you?, I’m Praying for You, Happy Birthday, I miss you, I appreciate you, etc.
(9) On special occasions such as their birthday or even on Christmas, send your dearest online friends a small token of your friendship. Like a kitchen magnet from where you live. Or a postcard. It will help them know that they are not alone in the physical world. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It could be a small note saying, Thank you for being my friend!
(10) Share your story with your online friends. Let them know the authentic you. Recently, Stan made a podcast about how he feels different and alone at times because of the things that happened in his life. I felt that I came to a better understanding, deeper empathy, and thankfulness for him. Go and listen to it here. Though I have known him for four years, his recent podcasts have made him more dear, real, and inspiring to my heart.
There’s lot of things you can do without spending a dollar. You don’t need a million dollars to start doing good. You don’t even need a nickel. If you can smile, shake a hand, or hold someone. If you can say, Thank you, I love you, or I’m sorry. Or like Nisha Varghese says, if you can make them feel you see them, you hear them, and that they are real to you. Nisha is a wonderful young lady.
I have more things on my list. I’ll be sharing them with you later. But I think what I described here is going to get you thinking.
What things can you do to make sure that others feel the love? Please share them with us in the comments below.