What is the currency of empathy in a family? It’s pretty simple really. It’s love, but our busy-ness and competing priorities get in the way.
In the WSJ yesterday, “Small Acts, Big Love” highlighted how couples say I love you with everday deeds http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323696404578297942503592524.html. The small deeds that move each person are different, but what all of the meaningful acts have in common is that they inherently communicate: “I get you”. They let other people know you’ve been paying attention and understand who they are. You don’t have to agree. Still, you ‘get’ them. This applies beyond couples…to parents and children, brothers and sisters, grandparents, friends, and coworkers too.
Examples of small, everyday acts:
-packing a favorite food for lunch…which starts with knowing what it is
-NOT dismissing someone else’s love of sports, musics, games, hobbies, etc
-seeking to understand in a disagreement rather than to win
As I type, my husband and children are cooking a Valentine’s dinner. It’s a gift of time, food, effort, and talent. I honestly can’t imagine anything nicer…or that says, “we get you” better.
What small acts would move the people in your life? This is a great season to practice them.
Happy Valentine’s Day.