I can be pretty clueless in communicating to the opposite sex, a different culture and – now – both older and (sadly) younger ages.
But this past year has really confused me. Regardless of the cause, politics seem to trump faith, while discussions about hot-button topics devolve into name-calling, even among Christians.
So, I’d like to suggest a bucket list for this year. Not exactly random acts of kindness, my list focuses more specifically on kind words, random and deliberate, both spoken or written:
When someone provides good service, tell them so – specifically. Share that on a comment card, too.
Say hello to people you pass in the hall, on the street or at the mall. Upgrade it with a smile!
Compliment someone on Facebook you haven’t contacted in more than six months.
Take a season (like Lent), month or week where you send a note or email to someone who has made a difference in your life each day.
Hide notes (tinyurl.com/MAF-Words1), leave a note in publications (tinyurl.com/MAF-Words2) or attach a tag (tinyurl.com/MAF-Words3) for people to find in unexpected places. If you have a blog, include the URL on the back and start a communication.
Tell your pastor something meaningful from a recent sermon.
Tell your church’s support staff how much you appreciate what they do.
Write a letter to your future self; include some favorite things. Then have a friend send it sometime later. Other letter writing ideas for National or World Letter Writing Days (Dec. 7 and Sept. 1 respectively) are at tinyurl.com/MAF-Words6.
Rate your church or other local business on Facebook – or share your own positive post about it.
Traveling? Put your mail/email/blog URL on the back of your car and use it as a springboard to befriend anyone that responds.
The World Needs More Love Letters (moreloveletters.com) encourages writing anonymous letters that are happy, encouraging and about the recipient. Or, nominate someone and followers could send letters to them.
Tell the person behind you that you really enjoyed their singing.
Make a phone call instead of sending a text.
Use an app to make personalized, even handwritten, cards (tinyurl.com/MAF-Words9).
Share encouraging graphics found on Random Words of Kindness (tinyurl.com/MAF-Words8) to a friend or someone struggling.
When your team loses, say something gracious to/about your rival.
If you are really industrious, why not make these monthly, even weekly goals?
Ken Satterfield is marketing director for Word&Way, a former media specialist and really, really glad you read this!