It’s always noticed by someone – little things people do for each other that make life feel warmer, more friendly.
And there’s no more important time for this kindness to happen than when someone is new in a group, in a neighborhood, in a town, in a country.
People often wonder what they can do. It doesn’t take much – a smile, a hi, a friendly comment, an offer to assist in some way, an invitation to sit next to you or in your circle of friends, an openness in sharing local information.
In addition to offering this kindness to new people, we gain ourselves – perhaps a new friend, definitely a model for our children who observe us maybe more than we realize.
I’ve never actually been able to ascertain whether this custom in China is true or not but I like what it would mean if it was. I’m referring to the jackets that young Chinese children supposedly wore that buttoned up the back. The reason for this, simply being, children would learn early to work together, offer assistance, support each other by buttoning each other’s jacket.
At last Friday’s Play Shoppe I saw this happen – a regularly-attending participant purposely reaching out to a new person, a quiet person, a person learning a new language. They set up a play date – a huge overture of friendship and support that will mean so much to this new mom and her child.
Thank you to this supportive mom who so kindly reached out and “buttoned up the jacket” of a new friend.