Monday, August 15, 2011

An epiphany.

epiphanya sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
Two weeks ago I was at EFY (I had a brilliant time at that, by the way), sitting in some class, taking notes. I don't remember what the class was on, even. There I was, in my lovely little chair with the desk you pull up, when a thought just popped into my head. I have no idea where the heck it came from, really. I usually don't have totally irrelevant, thought provoking, hang-this-saying-on-your-wall thoughts randomly pop into my head, but I guess it's possible that I thought it up. But I think more likely the Spirit told me this, because I really needed to hear it at the time. You ready? Okay, here it is:

You don't have to know someone to be their friend.

Ahh! Maybe that sentence doesn't just hit you over the head and make you want to be a better human being, but it did me. I've tried to live by that rule ever since that week at efy. To me that means that even if you don't know someone, you have no idea where they're coming from, and you owe it to them to not judge when you don't know even half of their story. Even something as simple as a smile can make someone's whole day brighter. That's cliche, but really true; I've experienced it many times. How many times a day are you walking down the sidewalk, or down the hall, or anywhere, and you see someone, and study your shoes, pretend to be texting, do anything to avoid having to acknowledge their existence. How hard would it be to smile and say hi? Really? What are you afraid of? Next time you see someone, give them a compliment. It's not hard. On anything. At efy someone told me that I had really pretty eyes. My best friends have blue-green and yellow-green eyes, so I'm not on the receiving end of that compliment often, with my brownies. However, that totally brightened my whole attitude, from something as simple and seemingly meaningless as that! Just be a friend. Being a friend to someone doesn't mean hanging out at their house, or laughing till you can't breathe, or having matching necklaces. If you are a friend to someone, they know that in you they will find someone who won't judge or criticize, who will always be there to brighten their day, who just cares about them. And really, having someone who really cares about you means the world. And the thing about all of this is that IT IS NOT HARD. It is so simple, so easy, that sometimes we take these small acts of kindness for granted, and forget the true worth they hold. 

Now comes the cheesy part:

Every day for the next week, do these small, easy things. You'll be surprised how simple it is, and yet how big an impact it can make on those around you and yourself.

1. Give a sincere compliment. Not just "I like your shirt.", but something real about the person, not what they have in their closet.

2. Refrain from judging. Even the most well-meaning of us judge people. All the time; it's human nature. Try to catch yourself in the act, and turn your thoughts around. Odds are, you're wrong.

3. Put someone before yourself. It is easy to be selfish. Horribly easy. Think of others.

4. Tell someone how much they mean to you. Other people can't read your mind. Tell them thanks, that you love them, etc.

5. Smile and say hi to a stranger. Sounds scary, I know. But in actuality, it's not. And it's totally worth it.

6. Listen. Again, you might say "I listen all the time!" And maybe you do. But maybe you don't.

"Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness." -Seneca


  1. i wish more people would do those six things. i know i'm guilty of not always doing them!

  2. Love that post! We all need to remember this!


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