I've spent the last wee while trying to decide what mental health wellness topic to peruse for today's blog. With Mother's Day just behind us for another year I was thinking how that "day" made me feel. Many years ago when I was a child, I would pick violets for Mum as they were the only wild flower in bloom at this time of year. They had their stems carefully wrapped in dampened paper and presented to her as if they were made of gold!!And amazingly the gift was received with equal admiration. Now this is where the thought part comes in.
It is not the "gift" but the thought that was so special to both the "giver" and "receiver".
We all have mothers or mother figures in our life at one time or another so we can relate to this emotion. What happens here is that we spend time and effort trying to make someone we care about feel special. Now, just for a moment imagine if that type of emotion could be experienced on a daily, or at least very frequent basis, how it might cause a pleasurable ripple effect to those around us. We don't have to even know the person, just imagine that they too, could benefit from the gift of your concern or at the very least your acknowledgement.
Let's take an example: Start with something simple, say a smile. Walking down the street, glance up and smile at a passerby. This is particularly helpful if you are engrossed by texting on your phone, as it also allows you to check your surroundings and prevent walking into a wall or falling off the curb!! If you are fortunate enough to receive a smile in return there is a tiny little spark in you that is happy. It's OK to admit it, others feel it too!!
Another example: Going into or out of a store, bank, or other building, hold the door open for the person behind you. So easy to do, and the effect it has on the shopper usually causes them to do likewise, in the "pay it forward" fashion. Now, you say this is "just being polite", and although you are right, it does make the recipient of your manners feel just a little "special" for that moment. Correct me if I'm wrong but who do you know that does not like feeling "special"???
You get the point I am trying to make here. By treating others in a respectful and compassionate manner two wonderful events take place on a small but meaningful scale. You feel better about yourself and the other person feels better about themselves..
I am not naive enough to entertain the idea that we live in a Pollyanna world but come on, watch that lonely soul across from you and your friends at the coffee shop and see how they respond to a smile or nod as you pass by them.
Worse case scenario is no one retaliates in a positive fashion, but you tried . Maybe next time.