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I think we can all agree that the world would be a better place to live in if we all showed each other more love.
That task begins with us.
If we want others to treat us with love, we must take the time to give love–even when we are rushed, even when we don’t feel like it, even when we feel others don’t deserve it.
The Morning I Was Reminded To Love
“Saw this leaf on my run today and immediately heard the word LOVE. Love when it hurts, love when it is joyous, love those you don’t understand and love those you do. Go out today and shower acts of love on all you meet.”
These are words I penned over a year ago. I was reminded of them recently thanks to Facebook and their “daily memories” feature.
These words represent how I want to spend my life. I am far from perfect at living out these words. I fail daily. Yet each day, each hour, each moment I have a choice. I have a choice to choose to love or to judge–may I choose love. I have a choice to act in love or anger–may I choose love. I have a choice to show love or indifference–may I choose love.
We may never know why people act the way they do, or make the choices they make–but we do have a chance to choose how we react. React in LOVE.
7 Simple Ways To Show Love To A Stranger
1. Hold The Door Open
When I was a mom with little ones I so appreciated those that took the time to help me in this way. With a baby on my hip, a toddler tugging on my leg and a small elementary school child holding my only hand, opening doors was often tricky.
Another variation of this tip is to help someone who has their hands full with a tray at a fast food restaurant.
2. Give a Big Smile And A Hello
There is this one man I see pretty much any time I walk or run along our town’s river front trail. He always gives a big smile and a hello and it warms my heart. So much so that I now try to do the same to every person I see on the trail–and that is big for an introvert like me.
3. Leave a Generous Tip
You might not be able to afford to do this but if you can–do. Trust me, your thoughtful gift will be unexpected and will speak volumes.
4. Let Them Go Ahead Of You In Line
This tip isn’t just for those with 10 items or less. Use it for the mom with a toddler who looks like he or she is about to melt down. For the man who has looked at his watch 10 times in the last minute. For the elderly woman who looks like she is physically struggling with standing in line.
5. Pay For Their Items
Again, this is only if you can afford to, but it sure does make someone’s day. I have had this happen to me twice and both times I wore a smile the whole day long afterwards.
6. Make Small Talk
In this day and age small talk seems to be a lost art. I read the book How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships and it has made a world of difference in my ability to make small talk with strangers.
As an introvert, small talk used to frighten me. However, after reading How to Talk To Anyone I wouldn’t say I love it, but I do feel less nervous about starting conversations with strangers. What I am discovering is how people react when I mix small talk with a few of the steps mentioned above–people’s faces start glowing when others take the time to take an interest in them.
7. Look Up From Your Smartphone
While listening to the book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, I was so saddened by Brene Brown’s story of a fast food worker crying after Brene apologized for being on her phone while she ordered. Brene was shocked to discover that most people rarely stop to give servers eye contact–nor do they apologize for being otherwise occupied while placing their orders.
Eye contact is more important to feeling valued than you might think–and feeling valued is an important aspect of feeling loved.
Look up from your phone, better yet leave it in your pocket or purse, and give those around you eye contact when you interact with them.
You might have just read this list and thought, “Umm, these are so simple and obvious.” True, but many of us are not taking time to do any of them with any regularity. Lets be the ones to change that.
“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” (1 Chorinthians 13:3 The Message)
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