Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Value of People

I came across a great article on the Internet at Studentlinc.net called "103 Ways To Add Value To People." There are some very simple ideas here that will show people that you value them. I am only going to list a few, but if you have the time visit their website.

1. Remember people's names. Nothing makes a person feel valued more than knowing they made enough of an impression on you for you to remember their name!

2. Remember people's birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions. Send them a note on those dates to let them know you are sharing in their celebration. It doesn't matter if a person is 4 or 40, everyone likes to be acknowledged for being born. A card or a surprise phone call on their special day will surely make them feel valued!

3. Offer the unexpected, anonymous gift. Bring coffee to your co-workers. Arrive to work early and leave a small gift on someone's office chair. Leave a gift card on someone's windshield. Balloons are also a joyful and visual way to celebrate someone you value.

4. Smile at people. Smile when you talk to them. Smile when you walk by them. Smiles are contagious and free! You can give a smile and possibly make someone's whole day brighter! Your day goes the way of the corners of your mouth!

5. Imagine a "Make Me Feel Important" sign is hanging around the neck of each person that you meet. Instead of walking around thinking that you have learned it all, and know it all; try going out into the world seeking what others have learned as well. Treat others as if they can teach you something!

6. When someone asks for your help or assistance with something, always do a little bit extra. It is the extra that turns the ordinary into extraordinary. This is called "going the extra mile." Zig Ziglar said, "There isn't much traffic on the second mile, not many travel there." It shows people how much you value them when you make the extra effort for them.

7. Spend time with people. Often we communicate a person's value to us simply because we like hanging out with them, even if there's no agenda. Time is a precious commodity and a valuable resource. Spend this resource effectively on others.

8. Strive to be the first to help a person whom you know in need. Have you ever reached to the top shelf for an elderly lady at the grocery store and graciously smiled when she thanked you? If yes, you most certainly made her feel valued! Keep your eyes and heart open for ways to be helpful in your family and your community.

9. Connect people to other people who may be a resource to them. You may know someone who could benefit from meeting and spending time with this person. Take the time to introduce them. Schedule a lunch with yourself and two people that could benefit from each other's friendship. Sometimes people only need someone else to vouch for them and offer a recommendation in order for a relationship to form.

10. Share your knowledge with others. Don't keep your best ideas and strategies all to yourself. People used to assume that knowledge was power. If I knew more than you, then I had some type of power over you. But I don't want to have power over you, I want to add value to you. So I share my best stuff. I give it away. When I discover something (a new tool, a new strategy, a new idea), I pass it on. If you pass it on to others and it's good stuff, you'll discover a whole new kind of power - the power of appreciation.

These are just 10 of the many ways we can add value to people. All people are priceless and we should never be too busy to show love and respect to those around us. Too many people have gone for years, especially in controlling churches, feeling unappreciated and unloved, but it's time for that to change! How we treat people is what really matters in life. I want to share a story with you...

A couple of Christmases ago, me and my family went out for breakfast on Christmas Eve. We began to talk about wanting to give to a family we knew who may not have very much for Christmas. We were all thinking the same thing, but then I said it. "Let's go right now and buy them some Christmas presents!" We went and picked out things for each member of the family. My husband knew the man liked Starbucks coffee, so he bought him some coffee. We bought toys and candy for the children. The looks on my children's faces said it all - this was so much fun for them. We went home and wrapped everything and then we called this family and asked if we could stop by. They didn't have family that lived here because they were from another country, so they were so excited that we were coming. We didn't tell them we had gifts, but when they opened the door their eyes lit up with excitement. They cried with tears of joy and greatfulness. They couldn't quit thanking us. I watched my children and their children as they opened the gifts and the smiles wouldn't stop.

My husband made the suggestion to make some of the coffee he had brought, but the man told him they didn't have a coffee maker. My husband said, "Let's go get one!" So they hopped in the car and went and bought a coffee maker. The man was so excited to be able to make coffee in his apartment. When it came time to pour it up, they didn't have coffee mugs, so we used tea glasses. We stayed for a while, talking, drinking coffee from glasses, and making new friends. It was a wonderful day. We left there that afternoon and my children couldn't quit talking about how this was the best Christmas they had ever had. Making someone else feel valued and loved brought great joy into our Christmas. The next day that family called and wanted to stop by. The little girl had gone through her room and collected a bag full of her special things and she wanted to give them to us. She hugged us and thanked us for making her Christmas special. It was precious. We will never forget that Christmas and it was a great lesson of never taking anything we have for granted. We forget that others may not have things in life - like a coffee cup. And how simple is that - we can stop during our busy day and give something that small to someone and it will mean so much to them.

It truly makes our lives so much more enriched when we value and reach out in love to someone else. God's heartbeat is loving people and when we make it ours too and see the value in people, we will have joy in our lives. My children and I can truly say that the Christmas Eve we visited that family was one of the happiest days of our lives.

3 comments :

L said...

Thanks for sharing - that's what life and Christmas is all about!

Aida said...

What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THIS POST!!!! People ARE God's passion and if we want to be like Him, people must become our passion! We MUST show the world God's love. I love the story you told about how your family gave. This is the example set by God. Everyone should focus on GIVING this Christmas. Everyone has something to give- even if it's just a smile. Thank you for the reminder of WHAT REALLY MATTERS.