I may not take a drink with my pinky out but my parents taught me values and manners. I learned how to to say “excuse me” if I bumped into someone, “please” when I ordered food at a restaurant and “Thank you” when someone did something for me.
When I was young I thought everyone did this, I soon realized I was wrong. Maybe these people didn’t get hugged enough or eat enough animal crackers when they were young. Maybe their parents never taught them about manners. Maybe they just aren’t nice people.
We live in a world where everyone is in a rush. Genuine compliments rarely exist because that would be ‘weird’ and people feel entitled to everything. The words ‘Thank you’ are rare.
The 5 year old version of us would disgusted. They sure as hell wouldn’t be sharing any snacks with us or letting us play in any of their reindeer games.
The Strength and Resolve of a Five Year Old
volunteered in his sons kindergarten class where another boy recently lost everything in a fire. He was in front of the class heartbroken because his cat ran away from the fire and both of his dogs were now ‘in heaven’.
Every kid in the class offered something: clothes, toys, a place to stay, one even offered his own dog. The 5 year old boy who just LOST EVERYTHING said “everything is fine, I have everything I need right in front of me”.
KINDERGARTENERS understand the importance of friendship, empathy, generosity, appreciation and giving
Where did we go wrong?
“I wish I could be a kid again”
Most of the time the person using this phrase wants to go to being a kid because they don’t want to have a job, pay bills, have responsibility and want to do nothing but play video games instead.
I laugh when I hear this because the first thing that comes into my mind is that the kid version of them would be more enjoyable to be around.
Here are 3 steps to get back to where we came from and make our lives and the lives of others better.
Step #1: Smile at a Stranger
Why are kids always smiling? Because they are happy and grateful to be alive. They know how to have fun and aren’t shot down by everyone and everything around them.
If something makes them happy they smile. They don’t hold back the smile because aren’t worried what others think. They are kids, they mind their own business, they don’t care! Why do we?
You don’t have to spark a conversation with this stranger, just give a little smile in passing.
Chances are you will get a smile or head nod back. I guarantee you will feel better about yourself and it make others feel better too.
Life is too short to be mad and hold back happy emotions. You never know when a genuine smile will brighten someone’s day. These bad boys are contagious. Spread the bug.
Step 2: Give a Genuine Compliment
Kids don’t hold back compliments, they pretty much say whatever pops up in their head. While these small compliments may seem irrelevant to you, but they could literally change someones life.
It may give someone the extra boost of confidence they needed that day to ask for a raise at work, keep making smart and healthy decisions in their life, or ask a the girl out they have had a crush on forever.
A little confidence can go a long way.
A couple years my girlfriend at the time came over when I had family visiting. She was upset and frustrated with work. We walked in the door and my 5 year old cousin looked at her and the first words to come out of his mouth were “You are beautiful”. A genuine compliment from a 5 year old completely changed the course of her entire day.
Society tells us to hold back appreciation and affection, because it makes us seem weak and vulnerable.
I couldn’t disagree more.
A genuine compliments puts us in a position of power to develop closer connections with the people we have interactions with. If you have a genuine complement for someone, don’t hold it back even if you think it is small and irrelevant.
Step #3: Say ‘Thank You’ Not Thanks
Two simple words, use them more.
Thanks is short, half assed and it looses it’s meaning. I can’t recall a time where someone has just said ‘thanks’ and I have felt like they truly appreciated whatever it was they are saying it for.
Time is precious, but many people are willing to offer their time if you ask for it. That deserves a real “Thank You”, to let them know you appreciate them. That is the least you can do.
Even if it is that persons job to provide you with a service say “Thank You”. People remember those who say thank you and those who do not.
If we take a step back and look at the way kids act: how they react to situations, watch them ‘be’ and enjoy life in its simplicity. If I had a quarter for every time I heard someone say “I wish I was a kid again” I would have a ton of freaking quarters. You can keep the quarters. I would rather inspire someone to be a better person and have a better life TODAY.
Apply these 3 simple actions to your life today!
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