Over the last few months I’ve been thinking a lot about the affect of our words and actions.
Intentionality is defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as “the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs.”
There was a time in my life when perfectionism & judgement reigned. I was often so caught up in that mind-frame that I neglected kindness, gentleness, tact, even compassion. It took a few dramatic life changes to shake me out of that web. Now that I’m on the other side, I’m really challenging myself to find opportunities to love on others – intentionally. To be intentional in my word choices, offer smiles readily or take a minute to give a heartfelt compliment.
It isn’t always easy and it always takes effort, intentionality. This means taking the time to see others, really see them, their situations, their potential, their efforts & attitudes. It means stepping out of my own busy-ness & “plan” and making impromptu intersections with someone else. Sometimes its nothing more than just listening.
Does this provide me with new, amazing, long-lasting friendships? No, not yet anyway. But it does brighten someone else’s day, reminds them of how wonderful they are & that they matter. And always… ALWAYS, I walk away feeling lighter, brighter & more hopeful.
I’ve been the recipient of this kind of intentional, unprompted love & each time it blows me away, changes my day and makes me want to continue the chain. If that’s my response, doesn’t it stand to reason that other people are feeling the same way? What if we were all intentional in sharing some kindness and showing some love – seeing that single mom & giving her a helping hand, smiling at a stranger, introducing yourself to the person beside you in line and starting a random conversation, asking your waiter how their day is going, encouraging parents when you notice well-behaved kids, etc. I can imaging the cascade of love and smiles…