by Audrey Sillett Lintner
It is almost taken for granted that we will love our families. But are we kind to them? Does familiarity breed contempt? Let’s look at a few scenarios and consider possible reactions.
Scene #1: Breakfast. Mom is rushing from stove to sink to fridge to table, trying to fill orders for hungry family members. She barely has a chance to grab a bite for herself, but manages to serve up the meal with a smile. Her efforts are greeted with:
A. “I’m so sick of scrambled eggs.”
B. “Not bad. Gotta go!”
C. “Thanks, Mom! Let me fix a plate for you.”
Scene #2: Weekend chores. After his weekly assignments are done, Junior notices that something has spilled in the garage. He takes it upon himself to clean up, wiping up the spill and sweeping the rest of the floor. Dad says:
A. “It’s about time you started earning your keep around here.”
B. “You missed a spot.”
C. “Thanks, Son. I appreciate your hard work.”
Scene #3: Errands. Dad returns from a trip to town, bearing a bag of candy for Mom. Her response is:
A. “Are you kidding me? You know I’m on a diet!”
B. “Thanks, but next time bring dark chocolate, okay?”
C. “Aw, how thoughtful! Here, share them with me.”
It’s a pretty safe bet that we all know what our answers should be in each case, but how well does should translate into reality? Do we sometimes snap at family members, knowing that they won’t snap back? Do we keep a tally of our give-and-take, expecting a return on our good-deed investments? Are good manners good enough, or do we need to dig deeper and build relationships on a bedrock of kindness?
It’s easy to say thank you, but maybe not so easy to explain why you’re thankful. Try this today! Write notes to family members, explaining why you think they’re special. Hide the notes where they’ll be found.
Question: Does a dinner deserve a thank you?
Photos courtesy of stock.xchng