When you appreciate someone, something about them, something they create or the way they make you feel good, if you take the time to notice even a small thing about someone else, you’ll get a kickback. That kickback may not be substantial, immediate, or easily identifiable. It may be small and merely a tremor on the feel-good scale, but it will happen. More small tremors will accumulate and the result will be a lifetime of people knowing they can count on you as someone who appreciates them.
It really IS about giving to others.
It doesn’t have to be a bag of chocolates; it can be a single chocolaty kiss. It doesn’t have to be an entire bouquet of flowers; it can be a single rose. It doesn’t have to be a long letter filled with the latest news; it can be a single line letting someone know you’re thinking of them.
It’s pretty often that we think or hear someone say, “It was a small thing, but I appreciated it so much!” Often times the small thing is unexpected, it’s a delightful surprise. Its purpose is not to impress in either size or value but to send the caring message of “I’m thinking of you and want to let you know I care.”
Small things may include running an errand for a friend or picking up something for someone while at the store. Something small can be a heart-shaped pebble that says, “When I saw this heart in nature, I thought of you.” Another small thing that is often overlooked by spouses and friends is noticing something new or different about another, “Oh, you got your hair cut. I like it,” “Is that a new coat? It’s really flattering.” These are small comments that require you getting outside yourself to pay attention to others.
Big things can be cumbersome and costly and may require a lot of maintenance and upkeep. I recall years ago, in my twenties, I inherited a diamond ring from my grandmother. It had one large stone, about one carat plus nine other smaller stones. I had the ring dismantled and remade into a stylish, stunning ring that I have treasured over the years. Because the ring was valuable, I had it insured and, at that stage of my life, the cost of that insurance was significant to my just-out-of-college salary.
Owning the ring, wearing the ring, and insuring the ring all became burdensome. This “cost” became greater than the enjoyment of wearing it, so I put it away, and it stayed there for many years, until the insurance and the worry of owning it wasn’t too great.
Take a moment to look around your life to see who might be grateful to receive something small from you. Like I’ve said, it doesn’t have to be big or cost a lot. The main purpose is to shine a light on someone you value. The hidden reward is the chain-reaction of good vibes that come forth for both of you. I wish I’d made the large diamond ring into a smaller ring that I could wear comfortably and that would remind me of my generous grandmother from the very beginning.
What in your life is burdening you because it’s too big, too costly, too much to maintain? It could be a thing or a situation or a person. Now is the time to thin out this kind of big stuff in favor for smaller, more easily manageable, and more meaningful items or relationships.