Thank You. Merci. Gracias. You Get It.

Just say thank you. Two words when used together are often very powerful.  These are the only two words you need to use sometimes. When someone does something nice for you say thank you, rather than objecting.  I was with two friends this weekend and one is in a financial situation that makes me appreciate my steady job and uncomplicated life.  Right or wrong, because I have an income and she is unemployed and supporting her family as best she can, I refuse any gestures involving money out of her pocket. It bothers her that I do this and she snuck in and paid for my smoothie at a take out place on Saturday afternoon.  I thanked her for her kindness and generosity; however, in my mind I wished she had saved the $5 to do something for herself.

I have rules with my friends. In spite of good intention, I try to avoid allowing my friends with financial constraints from spending money on me, even a cup of coffee.  I have the flexibility of spending money in my day to day life and always prefer a person save their dollars until easier days come around or apply elsewhere i.e. groceries or other needs.  Another friend of mine was unemployed a few years ago and working hard to find a new job.  During this time, she was dining home and was feeling bummed out because she needed to restrict her spending.  I insisted on buying her sushi one night to get her out of the house; plus I wanted company for dinner as sushi is always better at the restaurant! She was uncomfortable with this because she is an independent woman and likes to pay her own way; however, she relented because I negotiated with her.  I made a deal.  I offered to let her pay for dinner once she had income feeding her bank account if she would let me make dinner my treat.  I held up my end of the bargain, about a year later, when she was finally employed again.  We met for dinner and she reminded me of the deal we made when the check came.  It made her happy to treat me to dinner after all that time and I thanked her.

I often think about acts of kindness and what we can do for other people.  Sometimes acts of kindness are well served when they help strangers.  Sometimes acts of kindness are well served when friends are in need.  When an opportunity to help someone presents itself, it is hard for me to say no.  To clarify, I am hardly a bleeding heart and truthfully am not the person who gives money to homeless people sitting on the street.  I will, however, donate food to a food pantry or clothes to charity, for example, to ensure my contribution is put to good use.  When I have an opportunity to help, it tugs on me unless I take action.  It may be odd but true.  It takes so little effort to do something for someone else and if the response is ‘oh that is too much’ or something along those lines, I usually say, “just say thank you and do something for someone else when you can.”   Acts of kindness can be money free as well.  A neighbor was recently talking about a business idea he has been considering.  I told him I had been reading on the very topic he was interested in and shared blogs and articles I  had read to provide him with additional resources and possible leads.   Little or big, time consuming or easy to do, identifying an opportunity to help is rewarding and an opportunity to help can inspire the recipient or another person to pay it forward.   It goes along with the what goes around, comes around idea as well. Give kindness and you will probably see welcome and/or unexpected kindness in return. Help and when you need help, it will be returned.  Obvious statements I suppose yet on my mind for the last few days.  Thank you for reading this blog.




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