The quote that Pastor Freed used in a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words was from Tony Hsieh – Former CEO of Zappos – who tragically died in a house fire. “Remember that at the end of the day, it’s not what you say or do, but how you make people feel that matters the most.”
Many of us may look back at the end of our day and think about the things that we got done, the things we check off our To-Do lists; but how many look back and recognize the people that we made feel better that day? I would have perhaps re-stated Mr. Hsieh’s quote to focus it upon the things that one can say or do to make people feel better.
It is all too easy to feel that you are too busy to stop and compliment someone on how they look that day or just to hold a door open and let them go first, yet those simple acts of recognition and kindness can make that person feel better for that day. All people wish to be recognized; they want to be appreciated and acknowledged. To be completely ignored is to be insignificant and that is a lonely feeling.
So it is what you say or do that is important. When you encounter people today, at least acknowledge them. Be kind if the opportunity presents itself or maybe just say “hello” and give them a smile. That simple act of acknowledgement casts you noting and could make a big difference to someone who has been left lonely and perhaps depressed by the interpersonal restrictions of the current pandemic. Even if you have to speak to them through a mask, the fact that you spoke will not be lost on them. It is not enough in today’s environment to smile behind our masks, we must take overt actions.
If you have the opportunity, taking action to make someone feel better is even better. Holding a door open is the least you can do. Helping someone carry or load their groceries is possibly another. Going to do volunteer work at a local non-profit organization is another change to impact many people at once.
Each of these things, and anything else that you can think of, are examples of you taking overt and thoughtful action to make others feel better. At the end of the day, how do you think that will make you feel?
“Sometimes a hug is all you need to make you feel better.” – Pinterest – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.
Human touch and the human embrace of a hug can work wonders for anyone who needs that little bit of reassurance that things are alright or will get better. Sometimes the few moments involved in a hug can be the only time that the person being hugged can let go, let their guard down a bit and just let out the hurt or anguish or sorrow that has gripped them. You often see people weeping uncontrollably during a hug and that’s a good thing; they’ve finally let out all of the things that they were trying to desperately, and so unsuccessfully, to keep under control. That hug is the safe haven that they needed to let it out.
A hug instantaneously takes us back to the time when our mother’s warm embrace seemed to solve all problems, ease all pains and make all boo-boos feel better. Those hugs may even transport us back to the warm safety of the womb and all was OK again.
As we got older there are fewer and fewer hugs. Greetings evolve from a hug into hand-shakes or just nods. Consoling someone moves from a hug to a pat on the back. And our pains are comforted all to often by a pill (or a drink) from a bottle. Hugs became
something remembered, rather than something practiced. Hugs become perfunctory with air kisses thrown in for good measure.
We all need to get back to giving and receiving more real hugs in life. Both make us feel good and both allow us to get back to trusting in others. A recent newspaper article contained a story about a man of Middle-Eastern decent in Paris who, after the Paris killings, blindfolded himself and stood on the street asking people to hug him- many did. For all of the parties in those hugs, this was an act of faith, courage and love. It was also an affirmation of the good side of humanity over hate and distrust.
There are people all around you every day that could use a hug. People may not be standing there in the street with a blindfold on and a sign that says “hug me”; but you can probably still identify that stressed or distressed look in their eyes that is screaming “HUG ME” just and surely as if they had that sign. Don’t avoid them. Give them that hug and an amazing thing will happen – you’ll get a hug back and your day will be letter, too.
It’s interesting that you can feel the release of tension in the person the instant that you feel them relax in your hug and a little bit of your positive energy flow into them. Tears may follow, or smiles; but, whatever is next is better than what was there before. Your hug has unlocked them and let them go on. Your hug has also unlocked you. Allow yourself to feel good about it. Soon you will be seeking other opportunities to hug someone, because it makes both of your day’s better.