- April 28, 2020
- Posted by: Hillary Feder
- Category: Individual Engagement
While we are craving for life as usual, I can’t help thinking about those who are courageously helping us in essential public-facing roles on the front line and those behind the scenes. Their work puts them at risk as they serve others. Under normal circumstances these folks are largely unnoticed.
However, this unusual moment is creating intense gratitude for what we may have previously taken for granted. There has been an outpouring of love, gratitude, appreciation, hand clapping, and more to say thank you, it is palpable.
There will come a moment when we can breathe a bit. Gradually, there will be green lights that allow us to return to parts of our lives that have been put on hold. How long will we continue to appreciate those in these essential roles? Their role will be the same:
- Checking us out at the grocery store
- Disinfecting hospital rooms
- Delivering mail
- Collecting trash
- Teaching children
- Caring for those that are hospitalized
- Stocking store shelves
- Bartending, bussing or serving at your favorite restaurant
- And more….
Their work will be the same—maybe not quite as intense—when we move beyond this moment, but will we continue to notice and appreciate their work?
In our busy, often overly busy lives, we rush through our day-to-day tasks that put us face-to-face with someone in an essential, front line role. As a result we may be stressed, on a cell phone, or even a bit snippy and dismissive with those serving us.
It seems that now is an appropriate time to consider how we can continue to express appreciation for their work long after this moment has passed. Here are a few thoughts to get you started:
- Acknowledge people by their name, often on a badge
- A smile or kind voice, even if you’re having a tough day
- Express appreciation for their help
- Ask how their day is going or about the best thing that happened to them today
- Write a note, a unique expression that will be uniquely valued
- Picking up a snack? Pick out two and give one to the cashier
- Or a small gift card so they can treat themselves
At the end of the day expressing appreciation is an act of kindness. Kindness rewards the recipient and the giver with a considerable effect on mental and physiological health. Kindness actually making you happier! Experiencing an act of kindness can improve your mood, make your day, and increase the likelihood of spreading kindness to others. Similar to weight training, if you build up your “kindness” muscle expressing appreciation will become part of your daily routine.
Best of all, expressing appreciation often builds better selves, better communities, and better humanity.
Be safe, stay well.