How to

How to be thoughtful

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Sometimes a simple gesture or small gift is the easiest way to be thoughtful
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Knowing how to be thoughtful is a lot simpler than being thoughtless

It certainly seems like it is a lot easier for some people to be thoughtless than to be thoughtful. Apparently, thoughtfulness has gone out of vogue.

The tiniest off-the-cuff remark or certain behaviors, either meant intentionally or unintentionally, can cut deep when a person isn’t being thoughtful or considerate of another person’s feelings.

Everyone should inherently know how to be thoughtful, but apparently they don’t. How can you be thoughtful? Let’s count the ways …

Get a good calendar and mark the dates of your family and friends’ birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions where a phone call, a card, an email, a box of candy, a bouquet of flowers or a visit would brighten their day immensely. Take just a little of time out of your hectic schedule to reach out.

Be especially cognizant of elderly people who may be lonely and isolated. A visit or call from you will make their day. They will cherish your thoughtfulness for weeks or even months to come. It is especially thoughtful to schedule a monthly reminder that you care - a monthly delivery of chocolate, flowers or dinner - so that the fact that you care never fades. Someday, you may be in this situation, and you will want someone to be thoughtful towards you, too.

Hold the door open for someone. Help an elderly person up the stairs or off the curb. Let someone who has three screaming kids and a truck-load of groceries to check out cut in line in front of you at the supermarket.

Say, “thank you” and “excuse me” and “please.” Teach your children to do the same.

If someone is in the hospital, drop in and see how they’re doing. If you can’t visit, send them a card or call.

When someone dies, make a point of attending visitation at the funeral home or church, or paying a visit to the house of mourning. If you can’t, send flowers and a sympathy note or make a memorial contribution in their name. This will be greatly appreciated and long remembered.

Offer to baby sit your neighbor’s cat while she’s on vacation or in the hospital.  Mow her yard for her.

Give someone a lift.

Give your tired husband (or wife) a massage.

Smile and say ‘hi’ to the people you pass on the street.  Compliment someone on their clothing, or hair or the color of their eyes. People love to get compliments. 

Take food to someone who is recovering from an illness or who has just lost a loved one.

Those who are confined to nursing homes would certainly enjoy a visit. Doing this is an extremely thoughtful thing to do and is appreciated wholeheartedly by the recipient of the thoughtfulness.

Take clothing that is no longer worn to a clothing drop-off box. It will be distributed to people in need.

Play secret Santa for some local children who otherwise are going to go without at Christmas. Volunteer at church or temple for the Thanksgiving community dinner or any other type of outreach program that is based on thoughtfulness.

If you know of someone who is spending the holidays alone, invite them to join in your celebration.

When someone has a baby, take them a warm meal or offer to watch their older children so the new parents can get some much-needed rest. 

Volunteer at the hospital’s nursery to rock infants that are parent-less and need some tender, loving care and the human touch.

Thoughtfulness doesn’t require a lot of thought or imagination. It’s doing unto others as you want them do treat you. Thoughtfulness means a person has given consideration, attention and care to someone or some thing and pays attention to the little details that count so much. Being thoughtful is an act of kindheartedness, selflessness and unselfishness.

The energy that is put out into the world is the same type of energy that comes back. Thoughtful people are repaid by other thoughtful people. Thoughtless people will get just as good (or, rather, as bad) as they gave. 

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