I’m laying awake tonight thinking of all the things that are bothering me. As I toss and turn and try to understand what makes me restless I am beginning to see a little theme. Lately I have noticed the value of being the first at things. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to be the first at anything. I think we humans don’t like being the first at a lot of stuff actually. It would be preferable for someone else to do it.
This might make me sound like somewhat of a lonely person and lots of the time I am, but it also helps me understand the value of being the person of initiative be it in relationship, friendship, and the daily interactions we have with peers, coworkers or even strangers. I also know the blessing of being on the receiving end of when others have gone first in my life. Each day provides thousands of little opportunities to let someone know that you see them and value them in whatever capacity you know them, even if it’s just for a few brief moments after which you will never see them again.
So here’s some things I would like to encourage you to always be the first at. Don’t be the one to wait for these things.
Be the first to call your best friend.
The first to say “hello”.
The first to ask “how are you?”. And when asked by someone else first, don’t just say “fine”. Reply with a question for them.
Be the first with any question. And the first to be quiet and to listen. Really listen.
The first to send a text to let that person know that you’re thinking of them. Has it ever ruined your day when someone sent you something to let you know that they were thinking of you? Don’t be that stalker though. . .
The first to say “love you”. Say it a lot. Especially strive to be the first in this.
The first to hold their hand. To kiss them.
The first to ask “is everything alright?”.
The first to call your parents. Trust me, it makes their day.
The first to compliment. Tell him he’s handsome. Tell her she’s beautiful. Trust me, she needs to hear it many times. She doesn’t just “know”. This could be your spouse, a parent or a stranger.
The first to be vulnerable. To admit the hurt, the insecurity, and the pain.
The first to acknowledge and to affirm. Let them know you see how hard they’re working and they’re trying. Really this is powerful whether you practice this with the waitress serving your table or your husband putting in 60 hours this week.
The first to invite someone over for dinner. Or out for a beer. Don’t forget how it feels to be invited and give that feeling to someone else. Being invited is wonderful.
The first to start the conversation. Do it without the angle of talking about yourself.
The first to be quiet when the speaker stands upon the stage or the musician begins to play.
The first to step aside and let them go first. Along that note, always take the opportunity to hold the door for someone else.
These are merely a few. When it’s all said and done I feel like less people would feel alone if we each treated each other with the idea that we can be the first to give goodness instead of waiting around for others to be good to us. Don’t be the one not giving what you could because you’re craving it yourself.
Always be the first to do good and to do it without the intent of showing how good you are or with the idea that it will be reciprocated. Do it because we live in a world where we can make a difference in the most subtle and smallest ways in the lives of those we love the most and of those we might not know at all. We are all somewhat standing around waiting for the obvious heroic moments in which we will be the hero but really, we are standing in small and seemingly insignificant intersections with which we can make or break people by being the person of initiative or by doing nothing at all wishing they would go first.
Be the one to make another feel significant, to make them feel like they matter and trust me, you are doing the good work by doing anything at all. By doing it first.
Can you imagine if we all did it first?
With so much love,