Monday, January 30, 2012
One of the best ways we can show kindness is to take time to appreciate those who've had a positive influence on us, or our families. Throughout this year, I intend to do a better job of recognizing those people and letting them know of my appreciation, usually through handwritten thank you notes. Today was one of those days.
I was thinking about my son today, as he's literally on the other side of the globe on a mission trip to 11 different countries over 11 months. Right now he's in Uganda. A little more than 2 years ago, he left for the University of Alabama, which certainly seemed and felt like a long way from home (though nothing compared to Uganda!). As any parents of college children know, it can be difficult to send your child off into the world on their own, especially a first child, and especially when it's far away.
Not surprisingly, Ben did fine on his own and managed to build a successful world around him with a positive peer group and a number of good adult role models. I'm particularly appreciative of a number of professors, administrators, and community leaders that seem to have taken a keen interest in Ben and have proven to be big supporters of his in a variety of ways - well beyond the classroom and school environment. Today I sent a thank you note to one of those people, letting them know how much I appreciate their support.
One thing I've been noticing a lot lately is that when I "reverse roles", it helps me to understand how much certain gestures can mean. I mentioned this in yesterday's post, as well. Realizing how much it means to me to receive a well thought out thank you note from someone I may have impacted reminds me how much it means to someone else when I do the same. Realizing how much it means for a friend to call or visit reminds me that they value and appreciate my taking the time to call or visit them. Realizing how much I appreciate a call from my children just to say hello, reminds me to be better about calling my own parents. I suppose it's just another way of helping me to get out of my own private world in my head, and connect to the larger world around me.