|Guinness, my happy-licky lab frolicking in the park|
After a week of hearing and overhearing a plethora of unhappy people, I decided to intentionally focus on making situations and relationships better.
Summary results: it's been a fun week.
In phoning a call centre, I used the agent's name, asked how he was, and after he helped me I commented that I hoped his supervisors recognised his good work. In a store line-up, I offered the deep-sighing, watch-checking man behind to go ahead of me. At the hospital coffee shop, I offered to buy the coffee for a woman was holding back tears as she counted her change before ordering.
More than random acts of kindness, I explicitly asked people I know how I could make their day better.
A parishioner leaving my office requested prayers for an unrelated but worrying situation; a colleague cancelled a meeting, but asked if we could still meet for coffee and conversation; a friend, after a fun and long chat, asked me to proofread his resume. A neighbour (who enjoys giving my dogs cookies on our walk) admitted missing his dog, and that a moment of furry attention was exactly what he wanted. (My happy black lab reacted with many licks).
Making someone else's day better often doesn't take much, and it makes our day better, too.
We may need to ask outright, or we may need to start paying more attention. The response may be what we anticipate, or might be something completely unexpected. Our offers may be refused or rejected. The rationale may be explained, or we may never know.
Whatever it is, we need to follow through on our offer (within reason!), and how the person has asked. We don't need to ask for details, or cast judgement, or change what we offer based on our opinion.
It's communication, it's community-building, it's kingdom-building. It's loving neighbour as self. It's making ourselves vulnerable and available to someone else, indicating that they matter to us, that their happiness brings us happiness, and that we genuinely want their day to be better.
I hope your day is going well; I hope someone finds a way to make your day better; I hope you find a way to make someone else's day better.