We’ve just started the second week of ❤ February, a month many I know associate with “love” because of valentine’s day. I stated I wanted to focus more on love this month, but I want to be clear: Love is important every day of the year! Yes, I know I am preaching to the choir, most likely…but sometimes..we all just need to be reminded. So, what are some ways we can be more loving to others? Little things as you pass by others in our day to day lives, reaching out to your neighbors more directly, and by being more mindful of our words about others can go a long way in helping create a culture of more loving people.
I know it is not always easy to give a greeting to those you pass in the store, walking about, or while standing in your lawn. However, I can tell you this: The more you do it, the easier it gets. Try it and I bet that after doing it for the rest of the month it wont seem so uncomfortable and awkward. Once you get to the point that does not seem odd to you, you can perhaps start focusing on the person beyond a quickly mumbled “Good day”. Notice their hat, shirt, even their shoes. Perhaps they already said “hello” to you in their own efforts to be friendly. A quick compliment “Wow! Love that hat! Have a great day!” as you continue on your way would not be intrusive and would not be construed as being something more than just being friendly by most people.
Passersbys should not be the only people you try and be friendly to. You very likely have neighbors! And if you don’t, perhaps these suggestions will still be helpful when you do come in contact with those who live a mile or two down the road! I admit, the biggest reason I started getting more involved with my neighbors is because my best friend’s husband has a tendency to wander the neighborhood seeking out social interactions. He did this at the last place we lived, and he did this on day 1 we moved in our current place 4 years ago. Many times 1/2 my grill meats would disappear with him, but just as oten he brought back something better. People.So, if you have a social butterfly you know of, invite them over. They can start the work for you if you are a little shy. Or, you could walk across the street with a little something from the grill, a birthday party (or any party), or just an invitation to lunch or dinner one day. I know not every neighbor will wind up being your favorite, but it’s amazing how enriching it is to my life now that I have a regular interaction with my neighbors across the street. They are a blessing to me!
And then there are our words. The way we not only speak of others, but write about them. I am not saying you must agree and say/write false flattery about those you truly do not agree with, but there is absolutely no reason to be a jerk about it. Do not punish others associated with someone you dislike or disagree with, either. There is a saying: “If you do not have something nice to say, do not say anything at all” This is actually great advice, my dears. One very sad thing for me is that many times hateful remarks about others are by those that do not even actually know the person! You see this a lot in social media and politics. Tell me, does it truly make people feel good about themselves on a personal level to put someone down they have never even met? Try saying something nice. See them through eyes not glazed over by hatefulness. Even if that person truly is utterly horrible and hurt you badly personally, it can help soften your heart to try and find something good about them. If you can not do it for them, do it for yourself at least. You will find you have a lighter heart, a less bogged down mind, and calmer emotions if you attempt to see what good is there. You don’t have to be good friends to be a nice person!
Look, my loves…I know that we can come across some truly difficult people. I am not always so good at trying to find something positive about everyone. I’ve been hurt badly and I wager you have as well. This should not allow us to act and speak in hateful ways towards others. Make an effort to change your heart and you will see it can help change the hearts of others. But, it has to begin in you. So, reach out to those you pass by in your daily lives in little ways, walk across the street and knock on the door of your neighbor, and think about the words you use that others come across. We can all make a difference. No matter how small, you get enough of us doing just that – and like ants in an ant hill- we can create our own swarm. A swarm of love. Not such a small thing in the end, is it? Besides, I’m not one to stay in line for a jerk.