If you don’t want to be the person who makes someone feel like they don’t add value to you, then pay attention to these five things that people often take for granted.
A sincere expression of thanks
Growing up, how much did you take for granted that there would be food on the table every day? That you would have clean clothes to wear? That you would always have a bed to sleep in? The truth is, not everybody has those things, so it is a good thing to do to be thankful. Express that thanks sincerely, as often as you can. It can all go away in an instant.
Acknowledge your loved ones
The person sitting next to me on the couch loves me unconditionally and puts me above others – above herself most of the time. She has been my best friend for 30 years. Never forget a blessing like that.
Never assume the person you love is going to be by your side forever. The world is unpredictable. Illnesses and accidents steal our loved ones from us unexpectedly. Do not forget to be grateful and excited that another person is spending their lifetime with you.
Eating the last
Growing up, no one in my family would eat the last ‘thing’ or drink the last ‘whatever’ in order to make sure everyone else had a chance to. As a result, we often wasted that last bit of milk or we’d have three boxes of cereal with one serving left in each for weeks and weeks.
That’s a bit extreme obviously, but taking a moment to see if your loved one would like the last banana in the bowl, or the last serving of orange juice makes a big difference. Sure, you could assume they didn’t want it and just take it for yourself, but wouldn’t you want someone to ask you? Maybe you were looking forward to that banana all day.
If you are having a good day, don’t take for granted that it will always be good. You never know what life has waiting for you around the corner. So if today is a good day, soak it up, drink deep and revel in every minute.
The touch of a loved one
On a Tuesday, I turned down an opportunity to go visit my grandfather. On Thursday he died. I play over and over what I would have done had I not missed that chance. If you love someone, reach out – even if it’s just to say, “I was thinking about you. I miss you. I love you.”
If it is true that “all we are is dust in the wind,” then don’t let a break blow past you without showing some sign of appreciation and acknowledgement for the love, the work, the sacrifices and the life of the people who are on this journey with you. Tomorrow may be too late.