Daggers Don’t Cut It

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

For a long time, I didn’t write anything. I left the gift of verbal gab unopened on the shelf, safe and sound where no one could see or touch it. Or criticize it. When I think about that now I think I was pretty selfish. What would that feel like to me if I gave someone a gift and they never even opened it?

Anyway, I got to feeling really uncomfortable with just looking at it, and decided I should open it up and use it for something good. So, I applied for a job at a non-profit organization to write letters to their constituents who call or send in questions. I didn’t get the job, but the desire to do that kind of thing kept working on me.

Since, I’ve written letters to store clerks who do a particularly good job under less than ideal circumstances.  And to restaurant workers who provide amazing service at the end of their shift.  And to my pastor when he shares his heart in a particularly vulnerable way.

I’ve sent emails to people who have helped me tremendously over the years, detailing the difference they’ve made in my life.

In my last corporate job, a couple of weeks before Christmas I picked one coworker a day, and before the work day started, I wrote them a short personal note, wishing them a wonderful Christmas season.

I’ve written my boss and my former bosses to thank them for the opportunities they gave me and tell them the part they played in my growth.

Little things. You get the idea.

I’m not really sure who gets blessed more from this kind of thing, me or them. It feels so good to express kindness and positive thoughts, especially in such a negative world. When I’ve been depressed or frustrated, it’s some of the best medicine there is.

I will also admit that I have been tempted to use this gift to express less than feel-good thoughts, like letters to the editor, or to my favorite politician (an oxymoron for sure), or to speak the truth in a situation that I perceived desperately needed some light, or to stand up for my rights. You know, soap box type stuff. Clever turns of phrase. Verbal daggers.

What I’ve learned is that the simplest gesture expressed with kindness and gentleness is better and can really, REALLY have an impact. I’ve decided that it’s really not my job to point out someone else’s shortcomings, but to simply love them, warts and all.

Here’s the thing. You don’t have to be a writer to do this. Sending a short message such as, ‘Thanks so much, you really helped me’ or ‘I’m so sorry” or “I prayed for you this morning, hope the clouds are parting” or “happy 8th day of the month!’ Nothing complicated and nothing that takes very much time at all. Just a little something to let them know that you care. Seriously, this stuff makes a difference. I’ve got stories to prove it.

And, we all feel good when we get stuff like that. The world has gone crazy it seems, the economy is choking on itself, and so many people are out of work and out of hope with what feels like nothing to look forward to. We all know people who are struggling. So, how about it? How about we participate in a revolution of kindness? Other people are doing it, why not us?

It would be a really good thing. To just say it or write it or text it in the moment before the thought or feeling is gone or we forget. And, then wait . . . and watch what happens.



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