Listen. It’s that simple.
At this time of year, it is so easy to get caught up in your own crazy life, feeling like you are going 100 MPH all day long. However, this time of year is also a time where someone could use a little extra from you. Take the time to listen and really take in those around you this holiday season. It doesn’t seem like much, but I guarantee if you take the time to slow down just enough to be aware, you will notice someone in your life (or maybe a complete stranger) that just needs you to listen, provide comfort, or whatever it might be.
The little things go a long way this time of year. Oddly enough, in this jolly, family-oriented season, people feel more alone than ever. For those that have lost a loved one or gone through a tough break-up, they are more aware than ever that they are alone. Show them that they are not alone; they have you!
You don’t have to neglect your responsibilities to try my challenge. I’m not telling you to call in sick so you can find someone to help, or give up your favorite gym session to seek out a soul in need. But if you are willing to, more power to you! There is most likely someone you see every day that could just use a little extra attention. So my challenge to you is to be alert to all of your senses these next two weeks and find someone that could really benefit from your open ears and heart.
Every Tuesday I volunteer at a hospital. I do it because I love the children, and because I am not a doctor, this is a way for me to still have the opportunity to make a difference. Last night was just a normal shift for me, but I did the very thing I’m asking of you. And as a result, I know there are two families that are in better spirits than they were yesterday. It didn’t take much. I was going about my Tuesday as I always do, answering pages, doing whatever was needed, even delivering chocolate reindeer lollipops that I made for the kids. But a couple situations presented themselves because I took the time to slow down, show that I was there for them, and demonstrate that I was aware of what was going on. Out of respect and privacy for those individuals, I’ll leave it at that. However I know that what I gave to those people had a bigger impact than any gift I’ll be giving to my family and friends this holiday season. And to be honest, it’s the best gift I’ll receive this year.
So please, in the next couple weeks, take the time to listen, open your heart to someone who could really use it, and offer the compassion they need more than ever. It’ll go further than any gift you could ever purchase.