Friday, February 24, 2012

Back to the Basics: The Importance of Small Gestures

I read a wonderful article in The New York Times the other day. It was a small ode to Jeffrey Zaslow. He is a recently deceased author whose writing centered on the themes of love, commitment and living in the moment. Jeffrey is best known for co-authoring The Last Lecture with Professor Randy Pausch, who gave a poignant TED Talk about what truly matters in life, clarity he received after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

The people and stories Jeffrey wrote about were not sweeping. The ideas in his work were not revolutionary. In fact, some might even call them timeworn. One story Jeffrey wrote told the story of a judge who always made sure to tell his family “I love you” before walking out the door. Another op-ed for The Wall Street Journal focused on raising our sons to be considerate in romance.

The article quoted Jeff in why it’s important to write about the basic tenets of a good life. His reason is worth sharing:      

“What I like about my job is sometimes I’m just writing about the obvious. By doing that, you can touch a lot of people and tell them things that will change their lives, even if it’s something simple.”

I feel the same way about this blog—the themes and suggestions I post here are nothing new or astonishing. They’re simply important ideas worth revisiting every now and again. Writing about obvious ideas and small gestures can remind us how important they are.  

Small Gestures That Go a Long Way Towards Love

-Picking a single flower and giving it to someone you care about

-Writing a small note—one or two lines long—to a friend or family member you don’t talk to very often telling them you’re thinking of them and wanted to say hello

-Making a cup or tea or coffee for someone you live with at the end of a long day

-Paying a compliment to a stranger on the street

-Making eye contact, saying hello, and genuinely asking, “How are you?” to your clerk next time you buy something at the store

With love,

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