Little Things Mean A Lot
By: Dr Tim Ong
Each day, in the news, we read about the merging of companies, banks
and multinational corporations into ever bigger entities. As they grew
bigger, they gain more leverage, more control, and greater monopoly of
the markets, thus assuring the slow but steady demise of small
concerns. Thus we can easily understand why most people think big is
better. So, why are we talking about the little things?
While thinking big may be good for corporations, the same does not
necessary apply to a relationship. In a relationship, thinking small
Thinking small means paying attention to details and taking the pain
to make small gestures and actions count - something we often ignore
when we deal with people, whether they are our loved ones, our friends
or our colleagues. We forget that little things can mean a lot.
Although deep in our heart, we know that we value them as significant
people in our live, our behaviours and actions don't reflect that.
So, while we may go out of the way to remember a customer's birthday,
we forget our spouse's birthday. We remember our client's anniversary
but forget our own. We take the extra effort to plan for our client's
functions but forget to plan for our child's birthday. We truly
believe our family comes first, yet we behave as though our clients
are more important to us than our family. What is wrong with us? Where
is our priority?
We often console ourselves by saying that we'll make it up to our
loved ones with our next bonus, or the next holidays but when the time
comes, we never do.
Little Things Mean A Lot
Time and again we fail our family, yet they are always there for us,
no matter what. It's time we re-arrange our priorities and do what we
know we needed to do - put our family first.
It doesn't take a lot to make our loved ones happy. Very often, small
thoughtful gestures mean more to them than monetary value. My 5 year
old daughter, for example, would chose to have me read her a story
book than to buy her a toy. My 3 year old son prefers a walk in the
park. My wife is happy with a "I love you" card which I sent her
occasionally, not just on her birthday or our wedding anniversary.
A Powerful Lesson
I learnt the value of small thoughtful gestures when I was 18. It was
the year I represented my country in a student exchange program to
USA. On a flight to New York from Los Angeles, an elderly American sat
beside me. When he learned that I was in his country as an exchange
student, he paid for my movie on the plane. Though the gesture was
small, to me, his act represented an act of kindness to a complete
stranger. It was my first impression of the American people. The
impression stayed till this very day.
Caught in the rat race, we often forget that little gestures can leave
lasting impressions - impressions that may shape the future thoughts
and characters of our kids and loved one. Thus it is good to remind
ourselves every so often to review our priorities and see if our
actions reflect the priorities in our life. Remember the little things
- they mean a lot to our loved ones.
Tim Ong is a medical doctor and author of the online "Build From
Within" newsletter series. He is also the webmaster of The Self
Improvement Site (http://www.theselfimprovementsite.com), Klinik Ong
(http://www.klinikong.com) and Caring For The Terminally Ill (http:
//www.caring-terminally-ill.com). You may sign up for his free
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