Day 247: Paying attention

Interesting where you can find bits of encouragement throughout the day, if you only look for it. It’s in a sister who call and invites you to play a game of dominoes. It’s in a daughter-in-love who brings you a container of butter cream simply because you like it. Or a son who winks at you from across the room. It’s in a niece who shares her heart with you. It’s in a friend who calls just to check in. It’s in another who says I love you. And another who gives you a big hug.

None of those moments were consecutive, nor were they planned collectively. Each moment was simply a moment of thoughtfulness, where someone took the time to think beyond themselves, and when it’s noticed and acknowledged, the binding of kindred ties grows a bit stronger.

I read the story tonight on social media about a “mean” mom who bought her 3 kids ice cream cones. The kids grabbed up the cones without as much as a “thank you” or even a look in the eye for the person who served them, so the mom followed them outside and proceeded to gather up the cones and throw them away. The kids protested loudly and when they realized the mother was quiet, they settled down so she could tell them that being grateful and recognizing both the server and the giver of the gift was critical before they would get such a treat again. She said she hoped that one day they would be lucky enough to get a job like the server had, and she wanted people to look her kids in the eyes and acknowledge their service. She also wanted a simple “thank you” that comes from a grateful heart. That mother taught her kids a valuable lesson that day. She didn’t scream at them. She quietly taught them respect and gratefulness. She taught them to look for that connection with other human beings, not just to take what they felt they deserved.

It’s in paying attention that we can find the time to take in beauty. We can see the needs of others. We can connect on deeper levels. We can remember that we are not alone. It’s in paying attention that we find each other.

DAY 247 HOMEWORK: Next time you’re down, start counting the number of connection moments in your day…the moments of gratefulness…the moments of thoughtfulness…the moments you find something lovely around you. You’ll see that those positive moments are much more numerous than the negative and your frown will turn upside down.

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