They can be the most insignificant of actions. You could miss them if you weren’t paying close enough attention. We do them everyday for those we love, most without even thinking about it. These simple gestures seem to come so naturally to us these days, that we don’t even realise we are doing them.
It can be the most basic of things: helping to find something that was lost; prepare a meal for someone who has been working all day; do little extra things to improve some else's day, or even just to give a simple smile to a complete stranger while saying hello. All of these things are so small and don’t require vast amounts of our time or effort to make someone else feel special with no foreseeable benefit to us. And yet even we ourselves forget to notice the kindness in which he have bestowed upon someone as these acts have become so routine.
Is this why we question these gestures when they happen to us?
Last week was full of them from my partner:
1. Accepting that I had to work late on a number of nights.
2. Coming home to fresh flowers on the table.
3. Doing more then his fair share of the house work.
4. Urging me to continue with my studies.
5. Cooking me dinner when I came home from work.
And how did I repay him?:
1. I came home and complained about working so late and not listening to how his day went.
2. I insisted that he had done something wrong and wasn’t telling me.
3. I complained that he had moved all my stuff while he had been dusting.
4. I yelled at him for nagging me all the time.
5. I said I wasn’t very hungry and only ate half of the meal.
It wasn’t until later in the day that I realised I had been so cruel to the one person who I cared most about, because he was doing his own version of simple gestures to help improve my week. It wasn’t until later in the week when I really opened my eyes to all the little thing he had been doing, and I was shocked to discover that I had been ignorant to almost all of his little gestures. I had gotten too accustomed to getting and doing things that I forgot to say thank you.
When I thought back over last week, I realised that when I hadn’t been grumpy or moping I had been spiteful; thinking why should I say thank you when he doesn’t say thanks to me. Getting a pat on the back for doing some extra cleaning. When he barely notices when I’ve done the washing and making the bed etc…
But that is just the point. These small little gestures had gone unnoticed and unappreciated, because I had been so sour that he didn’t extend the same praise to me when I’ve done some extra chores. Please don’t think I'm a malicious person. I'm sure everyone gets this way sometimes and wants to be appreciated and thanked for what they have done.
As I said though, that by the end of the week I did open my eyes as to everything else he had been doing. It just so happens that when it came time for him to perform another small gesture, I was more susceptible and gracious towards him; well who wouldn’t be if your partner had gone out of their way to drive you out to your favourite ice-cream parlour and buy you ice-cream as a way of cheering me up when I’ve had a bad day at work.
I'm definitely sure that everyone has had a week like mine. Every time someone does something to cheer you up, you've found some faults in their attempts. Try not to let a disheartening mood or circumstances get in the way of others showing you their love and appreciation of you.
When someone does something for you, even if it is a routine of some sort; make a small comment or action to show that you do care, and that you are grateful.
Everyone helps out in their own way. We may not always get things right. We may eve mess up entirely. But the trick is to keep persisting, and to keep doing these small insignificant gestures even if they aren’t always acknowledged. At least we will know what we have done to help out our loved ones; even if it something as trivial as making them a cup of coffee in the morning, or buying flowers to brighten their day.