considerately (adverb) : considerateness (noun)
*Also sympathetic regard.
This is a concept that has become very present in my life. I think a lot of times we are focused on accomplishing a task, lost in our thoughts, or occupying our minds with an electronic device. These other obligations and concerns become so demanding that we neglect the thought of consideration. We neglect what is right in front of our face. There are so many times I have thought, “DO YOU EVEN SEE ME?!” because I have been blatantly ignored or disrespected. And most of those times, it’s simply because people were not being mindful of others.
Being considerate of others is not rocket science. Being thoughtful of others should not be that hard to understand, learn, or practice. The reason I have been presented with this focus lately is because I see the lack of considerate people all around me. I am not perfect! As an empathetic person, I am VERY aware of how other people’s actions (or non-actions) reflect on me and onto others. And that is something I work on, not being so sensitive or allowing other’s negative decisions to affect me personally. I’m on the opposite end, being too thoughtful. However some people do not have the concept of being considerate. And it drives me a little insane. We should ALL think of others!
I speak of the “little things” when I discuss consideration. Saying “thank you” and “please,” holding the door for someone walking behind you, letting someone into the traffic lane, smiling, making eye contact, watching voice volume, and every little thing that goes into being a kind person. I am also not saying becoming obsessed with only thinking of others is a good thing. That could hinder us from feeling free to express ourselves, cause insecurities, or even anxiety. What I speak of is simply thinking of how your actions, words, and maybe thoughts are directly affecting those around you in the moment.
Some ways for you to practice being considerate towards others:
- PRAY / MEDITATE. The more time you spend turning inward and upward, practicing mindfulness, exploring silence, and slowing down for guidance, the easier it becomes to think clearly. To live more intently.
- Use your manners! (It might sound so Southern of me, but that’s why there is “southern hospitality,” right?! It means to acknowledge other people and their kindness. Say thank you, please, responding with respect, smiling, whatever manners means to you!
- Make Moves! Take up space, yes, but think about others as you do so. Open doors, pull out chairs, help someone reach the top shelf, don’t lean back your seat on the airplane when the guy behind you is well over 6 feet tall, cover your mouth when you cough/sneeze in public.
- THINK before you act/speak! How would you feel if you were someone else? Other people exist around you.
- Think SMALL. Little things go a long way. Smile, make eye contact, be an interacting human 🙂
- Choose LOVE! If love is always on your mind, then your choices will reflect that.