Sunday, February 25, 2007

Lenten Improvements - Are You Thoughtful?

Day 5

The following is taken from Improve: Now is the Acceptable Time! distributed by the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers.

"What is thoughtfulness? It is a virtue, a habit, a quality of the heart, which makes us forget ourselves and become mindful of others to the extent of sensing and even anticipating their needs and wishes. Thoughtfulness is the giving of a little bit of yourself, going the extra mile, performing the pleasantly unexpected favor. Thoughtfulness doesn't way, 'What must I do?' but, 'What all can I possibly do?'

A thoughtful persona forgets self. Forgetting yourself to help others implies a sacrifice without considering the cost to yourself. 'Service' is the motto of one who forgets himself. Thoughtful is the girl who comes home from school and washes the few dishes piled in the kitchen sink before being told to wash them. The young man who goes out and shovels the snow, cuts the grass, rakes, the leaves, or polishes the family car without behaving to be reminded or paid is thoughtful.

An Eye for Others:

A thoughtful person is mindful of others. Being mindful of others, you pass the food at the table, move away from the door in a crowded bus, share the seat on a train or bus, dim your bright lights for on-coming cars, and keep your hand off the horn in congested traffic*.

How's Your Average?

A thoughtful person gives part of himself. One French proverb says: 'He gives nothing who does not give himself.' A thoughtful man spends not cash but himself on others. It doesn't cost anything to give away some of your time, a smile, a bit of courtesy, sympathy, encouragement, appreciation, or a good idea. Are you one who gives credit, one who takes notice, one who comments on a good meal, a tasty pie, a new arrangement of the old furniture in the living room? As a son, daughter, or husband, do you ever startle your mother or wife by telling her she did a neat pressing job on your shirt or blouse? Thanks are so inexpensive and are part of yourself. In the Gospel only one out of ten lepers that Christ cleansed came back to say thanks. One out of ten! Are you trying to bring up that average by saying 'thanks' more often?"
*Note: In Hawaii, people do not blow their horns. It is considerate impolite. For the most part, the people in Hawaii are very considerate of others. No wonder our nickname is that of the Aloha State. We try to share the Aloha spirit daily.

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