I used to do counseling in nursing homes and, to my surprise, it was the best time of my entire career.
After 90 plus years of accumulating “stuff,” I was always interested to see what people chose to keep with them in those little rooms. It was never what I thought, but it was usually the same things.
There on the little nightstand by the single bed, I would often find a pile of well worn cards and notes from friends long ago. Not birthday cards, nor holiday, just a handwritten letter here, a thoughtful note there, a few sentences where someone took the time to encourage that person at some time in their lives.
Often they would read them to me and I was always amazed at their simplicity. Each time I would think how sitting in front of me was someone who had 90 years of birthday gifts, probably some pretty expensive Christmas presents, beautifully decorated homes, yet when it all came down to what really mattered, it was a pile of carefully bundled notes of encouragement that cost the sender no more than the stamp of the day.
In a world of, “your call is very important to us, so please continue to hold,” how much would it mean to you to get an email, a note, a call from someone just to encourage you? Would you trade it for that Christmas gift someone gave you that now sits broken on the garage floor? Perhaps more importantly, what would it cost you to encourage someone else today?
It might not seem like much, yet to them it could be something they carry with them for the rest of their lives.