In my last post I shared that you can love people and change the world with something that costs you nothing – a smile. It’s a great place to start.
Let’s take that next step and do something we learned as children but, over the years, have simply forgotten.
I’m talking about Please and Thank You.
How is saying these three little words showing love?
Please and Thank You are not simply social niceties. Please and Thank You are words that bookend interactions with love.
Please lets the person you are interacting with know they have a choice in how they treat you, that you are aware of that fact. They could be kind to you or they could not, and you are asking them to be kind.
Thank You acknowledges that you noticed their effort and you are grateful.
Please and Thank You empower the other person. You are acknowledging their ability to make or break your connection. You are choosing to honor them and their potential effect on you in this situation.
In the wider area of society in general, Please and Thank You could go a long way toward correcting entitlement attitudes.
Imagine you are in a grocery store and the cashier asks if you’d like your milk in a sack. “Yes, please,” you reply. In a subtle way the cashier knows that if they do put your milk in a sack they will be helping you out. Adding Please makes them much more willing to help you than if you’d simply said “Yes” which can sound more like a demand. People respond better when given a choice rather than a command.
On a slightly selfish note, you may not care one dime about the cashier’s well-being, but you do care about your own. If you treat someone with respect they are more likely to treat you with respect. Simply adding these three words to your interaction can benefit you greatly.
Please and Thank You are words of love because they focus on the other person’s actions and not our own, and any time we put another’s needs ahead of our own, THAT’S Love.
Be the Love you wish to see in the world.
Great idea. Noble concept.
I wondered that, too.
I thought it would be best to start with the easiest and simplest way. How can we be love with the fewest dollars, smallest amount of time, and least amount of energy?
I pondered. I puzzled.
The lightbulb lit.
I smiled and chuckled. It was as plain as the smile on my face.
A smile. The simplest, easiest, and most effective way to love.
To smile at someone, you have to see them. You have to look at another human being. When two pairs of eyes meet, there is a connection. If that connection produces a smile, it’s a positive connection.
Positive connection is powerful. Positive connection elevates moods for both parties. You’re happy to see them. They’re happy that you’re happy to see them. A smile says it all.
Simply by fixing your eyes on someone and moving a few muscles in your face, your smile, your love, changed their world, and yours.
It took a few seconds out of your day. It cost zero dollars. It required almost no energy.
Every act of love changes the world.
A smile can be an act of love.
Every smile can change the world.
Sure, it may be miniscule, but so is a grain of sand. You think it's not powerful? Get one in your eye. Or thousands. Or millions.
What if we smiled at everyone we saw…FOR AN ENTIRE DAY? Really, what if? Go there with me.
Wouldn’t it be incredibly difficult to have a bad day if everyone you saw smiled at you?
Wouldn’t it be incredibly difficult to have a bad day if you smiled at everyone you saw?
AND what if we smiled at each other on MONDAY, the universally-acknowledged worst day of the week? What then?
Oooo! What if we smiled at everyone EVERY Monday? What then, I ask you, WHAT THEN???
I can’t even.
Wanna try it with me? Monday’s coming…
Be love. Spread it with smiles.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Do you hear that phrase as often as I do?
We all believe change is needed but no one agrees on which things, much less how best to do it.
Demands for change inhabit every area of life, from macro issues like business, education, and politics (oy vey the politics) to micro issues like snowflake children, helicopter parents, even which way toilet paper should roll.
Hatred, fear, and arrogance blanket the majority of interactions in social and other media. Exchange of ideas becomes exchange of insults. It’s open season on anyone with a differing opinion.
Be the Change You Wish to See has become Make Them Be the Change I Wish to See.
Being the Change is simply not working.
Change involves modifying behavior, performing a different action to obtain a different result. We define Who or What is the problem, and How, When, and Where to change.
But unless we go deeper--to the Why--then the Who, What, Where, When, and How are pointless. When change gets messy and complicated and you become tired and discouraged, the Why will keep you going.
Not all Whys can create positive change. Negative Whys include Fear, Envy, Hatred, Arrogance, Greed. Adding negatives cannot equal a positive (thank you, sixth grade math class). Negative Whys cannot create positive change.
Compassion is a positive Why. So are Peace, Trust, Kindness, Loyalty. If you want positive change, start with those.
Better yet, there is one Why that is even deeper and more powerful than any other, positive or negative.
Love is patient, kind, content, humble, respectful, generous, gentle, forgiving. (Paul the Apostle, para.)
Love is the greatest thing. (also Paul, para.)
Think about what kinds of change Love will produce.
That is change I wish to see.
If we move in Love, Change will follow. There is no other possibility.
Don’t Be the Change. Be the Love.
(In my next posts I’ll begin to share How, and Who)
Creating Systems for Courageous Kindness
I love to read comments and know how my work is helping you. Please respond with your first AND last names. Anonymous comments will not be read and may be deleted.