Being Thoughtful

One of the things about another person that stands out for me is how thoughtful they are.  This can mean many things.  It can be how much they put others’ needs above their own, how frequently they do things like hold a door open or let someone go first, or the fact that they will drop everything and be there for someone else, if necessary, even if it means it will inconvenience them.  It could also be doing things for other people that they don’t have to but do anyway because they know it will make the other person feel good, such as calling or texting to ask how they or doing or surprising them with something like flowers or a small gift.  Anyone who is willing to give of his or her time, whether it’s to support a cause or to lend an ear, is a very thoughtful person in my book.

To me, how thoughtful someone is says a WHOLE lot about that person’s character in general. If they are thoughtful, then they are probably a good listener, they pay attention, they are good at compromising, they are kind and caring, they are loyal, they are not “me people”, they are grateful, they are good role models, they are sincere and empathetic, they can admit to their mistakes and apologize when necessary, they are respectful, tolerant, and patient, and so many other things I have discussed throughout my blog topics. My closest friends and the people I admire the most are all VERY thoughtful people. It’s so easy to be thoughtful towards them in return.

I’m not sure how much being thoughtful comes naturally to people or how much of it is learned by example.  I know it’s something I want to pass on to my kids so that is comes naturally to them, so I am trying to set a good example of that.  Anything I do that is thoughtful is sincere, but I can’t help pointing it out to them what I am doing once in a while so I know they are thinking about it and learning by example.  I occasionally ask them to think about how they would feel if they were the other person.  I’m sure being surrounded by friends and some family members who are thoughtful is helpful. It does seem to come more naturally for one of my kids, but the other two are getting there.

The problem is that there are a whole lot of people who either are a significant part of their life or are just people they encounter who are not thoughtful.  It always seems like it takes so much more of a positive thing to counteract anything negative, so I hope that the good examples are what stick with them in the long run and that they remember what it feels like when others do thoughtful things for them.

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