While you might dread the annual family gathering, the tired stories of the difficult relative or traversing the “elephant” in the room, Thanksgiving gatherings are fertile soil for words of encouragement. What might happen if we carry as much encouragement into the kitchen this year as we do delicious pies?
For many, speaking words of encouragement is unnatural and slightly risky. If kindness feels clunky or vulnerable, maybe a little pre-game practice is what you need. No problem, people defer to dress rehearsals for a good reason.
Here are a few things you might consider doing this season.
- Write a note of encouragement to the host of your gathering. Explain why you are thankful for their life.
- Speak an encouraging word to the person seated next to you. Tell them one way their life has impacted yours positively. They probably don’t realize the reach or depth of their influence.
- Invite your single friend or neighbor to join your gathering. Don’t do this out of pity, do this to build community and connection.
- Share your gratitude with those around the table. Tell your favorite memory of them.
- Embrace the opportunity to leave a legacy of love through your spoken or written word. If family is messy and hard, start with your best friend, your child, or yourself. Start somewhere.
Your family, your community, and the world needs your encouragement. Plan, prepare, practice…do whatever you must to be ready, but do it. Let this year be different from all the others, even if it’s only you who’s different.
Scatter kindness this Thanksgiving.
Let change begin with you.
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. Walt Disney