AS a kid growing up, I had to work for everything. By the age of fifteen I was even buying most of my own clothes. By age sixteen I had purchased a car, had car insurance in my own name and paid for all of the gas and repairs. To be sure I took care of what I had because it took so much effort to get it.
I have a firm belief the best way to lose something is to not be thankful for it. Every day I recite out loud the list of things I have to be thankful for: home, car, job, family, children, friends, health, etc.
It is especially important to be grateful for the people in our lives we care about. When I was growing up, hearing “I love you: or “I am proud of you” from my parents was a very rare thing. I do not ever recall hearing those words from my father. As a result I have made it a practice to let people in my life know that I appreciate them. I even tell my guy friends that I love them. Some people may think I am soft or sappy but I really don’t care. If I left this world tomorrow I would want them to know how much they meant to me.
It takes great strength to tell people you care about them, to allow yourself to vulnerable. It is also one of the most liberating experiences you will ever have. We never know the profound effect our kind words could have on someone on any given day.
To raise the bar even higher, I believe the more you care about someone the kinder you should be. There is a saying that familiarity breeds contempt. I would say that the closer you get to someone, the more careful you should be to protect and nurture the relationship. Don’t take it for granted that, “they should know how I feel by now”. Make sure you tell them every single day, no exceptions, regardless of how you feel.
I have heard it said that people want what they can’t have, when they get it they don’t want it and when they lose it they wish they had it back. I would say that when you get what you want, you should carefully take care of it so you never have to experience the regret of losing it.
It is easiest to hurt and be hurt by those closest to us. Be especially considerate of them. Being kind and polite to the ones you love is a gift you give to yourself.