Like most of us, you can probably look forward to some extra attention on your birthday and certain other special occasions. But doesn’t it make you feel especially loved when, out of the blue, someone does some loving thing for you for no other reason than because he or she loves you?
Why not do the same for others? If you stop to think about it, you’d probably be surprised at how many thoughtful little things you could find to do for others that would cost almost nothing and take almost no time. Want to transform your relationships with family, friends, and workmates? Become a master of the five-minute favor.—S.S.
Familiar acts are beautiful through love.—Percy Bysshe Shelley
Oh, it’s just the little, homely things,
The unobtrusive, friendly things,
The “Won’t-you-let-me-help-you” things
That make the pathway light.
And it’s just the jolly, joking things,
The “Laugh-with-me-it’s-funny” things,
The “Never-mind-the-trouble” things
That make our world seem bright.
For all the countless, famous things,
The wondrous, record-breaking things,
Those never-can-be-equaled things
That all the papers cite,
Can’t match the little, human things,
The “Just-because-I-like-you” things,
Those “Oh-it’s-simply-nothing” things,
That make us happy, quite.
So here’s to all the little things,
The everyday encountered things,
The “Smile-and-face-your-trouble” things,
“Trust God to put it right,”
The done-and-then-forgotten things,
The “Can’t-you-see-I-love-you!” things,
The hearty “I-am-with-you!” things
That make life worth the fight.—Grace Haines
A city bus stopped to pick up two frail old ladies. The driver helped the first one on, then jumped down, and with a grin, picked up the frailer of the two and carried her onto the bus.
When the conductor went to take their fares, he found that the women actually wanted to go in the opposite direction. Nothing daunted, the driver stopped the bus and helped them off. Then he held up the traffic, saw them across the road, and waited for a bus to come in the right direction. Everybody in the first bus had to wait. When a bus came along, the first bus driver flagged it down and again helped the two old ladies board.
When he returned to his own bus, he was greeted by a spontaneous burst of applause. As he pulled away from the bus stop, the other passengers all seemed happier. Instead of the previous silence and standoffishness, there was a cheery buzz of conversation as strangers smiled to each other and chatted.—Retold by K.P.
Take time for love
They say that children spell love T-I-M-E—but aren’t we all like that? Special activities and scheduled times to do things together are great, but so are those little moments when we put down the newspaper, look up from our work, turn off the TV, or stop whatever else we may be doing in order to give someone else our undivided attention. Don’t you just love it when others do that for you? Such simple gestures make us feel loved because they convey that we’re important to them.—S.S.
A team of songwriters, musicians, and singers had worked well together on various projects over the space of several years. They were a rather motley crew and had had their share of ups and downs, but had always managed to hang together somehow. So when nearly everyone’s inspiration level hit an unprecedented and unexplainable low at the same time, the couple leading the team was naturally concerned. They were Christians who depended a lot on prayer, so they asked God to show them what had gone wrong and how to turn things around.
The answer they received was short and simple: “You’ve been cutting corners on love.” Everyone had gotten so wrapped up in their work that they’d all stopped taking time to show each other love and appreciation— the very things that had made them such a good team in the first place.
The couple explained that to the rest of the team, and together they drew up a list of all the little things they’d stopped saying or doing for one another. Then at the end of the meeting they prayed that Jesus would help them take more time to show love. Everyone’s spirit was immediately boosted and kept there over the months to come by little daily deeds of kindness and caring. It wasn’t long before they produced their best music ever.—K.P.