10 ways to express your love and gratitude
How should we define love? Is it a form of emotional connection with another person or as an invisible and strong bind that brings about a sense of togetherness, between two or more people?
When we think of love, one may imagine that it finds its place, or exists, in the one-to-one relationship of a person and another where time and effort are spent in each other company that brings about a sense of fulfillment as each person shares a part of himself or herself. Through love, humans show kindness, affection and generosity. According to Psychology Today, the main denominator between feeling love and loving is choice. “The choice to love is not a feeling; it is an action”
Appreciation of love reciprocates through the expression of gratitude and it hardly exists outside of a relationship. Through social interactions, the process of building love and affection are inevitably engineered through the cycle of giving and receiving.
Let’s take a look at Ten (10) ways in which to show our love and gratitude:
1. Inspire the spirit of thanksgiving
The hustle of life leads us to take the people we love in our circle and our community for granted. It is time to gather a group of friends and family to participate in thanksgiving and take the time to affirm one another.
2. Find a common ground
Diversity exists in the world that we live in. The downside of living in a diverse yet imperfect world is the inevitable conflicts and disagreements amongst even the best of us. We all have different personalities, backgrounds, worldviews, religions and habits. It is no wonder that it is much easier to love and care for people who are similar to us.
Finding a common ground serves as a stepping stone to nurture relationships even among the hardiest of polar opposites. Whether it is a colleague, a friend, or a life partner, having a common activity (i.e. sports or hobbies) that all parties enjoy, creates windows of opportunities for bonding and heartfelt conversations. So go kick a ball for soccer, learn dance at the community club and run a marathon with someone you choose to love and understand better.
3. Be the big sister and brother
Do you have a younger sibling or are you the youngest? Have you been a receiver of care and support from an older peer? An elder sibling as the role model who is kind, warm, and supportive, nurtures the younger siblings and helps them find their footing. In fact, some schools in Singapore have established a peer support system where seniors act as the de facto brother and sister to juniors to provide advice and support. Our life experiences, failures and successes can be nuggets of gold to a younger person who would deeply appreciate our perspectives.
Let’s remember to give thanks to the mountains high and valley lows in our lives. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger to love greater!
Mark down important dates on your calendar to celebrate with your loved ones – your friends, partners, colleagues and family! And do not forget about them. Anniversaries, festive seasons and birthdays are channels to express love and gratitude to establish deeper ties with our loved ones. A simple act of showing love such as gifting a bouquet of flowers, a nice dinner or a thank-you card can be all it takes to make someone’s day to show your appreciation.
5. Cook the food
Show love by satisfying the tummy of another. While going to swanky restaurants may seem more alluring, a simple home-cooked meal with sincerity in the comfort of a home can move hearts too. Cooking can also be done together with a partner, among friends and family as a bonding activity and a place for authentic conversations. The experience makes the meal Michelin-star-worthy any day.
6. Help out with chores
Ever had your mum nagged at you for the chores she has to do, such as cleaning up your messy bedroom and the unwashed dishes you left at the sink? Or your friend at school / a co-worker lamenting that they are overwhelmed by the mountains of workload?
Help provide respite by offering to do simple chores.
For a start, we can show gratitude to our family members for clearing up our mess behind the scenes, help out with some household chores and they will be ever so grateful. Simple acts of helping a friend or co-worker to “dabao” food aka order takeout while they are “chionging” their work makes a difference too. We can all begin by doing small acts with great love.
7. Be kind in reality and virtually
With the proliferation of digital social media platforms, we are more connected and yet more isolated than ever. With such platforms, we can craft carefully curated versions of ourselves to the world and have conversations with strangers who are not yet friends on the other side of the globe. The anonymity of the screen shields us from the self-consciousness and awkwardness of speaking to a new person and yet emboldens some to speak unkindly to hurt others. Notwithstanding its flaws, social media has also birthed online communities and support groups to notable causes. As the saying goes, “The tongue has the power of life and death”; the sword of the tongue is wielded in the hands of the holder.
Be authentic and a positive online presence to lighten up and bring encouragement to many on our social media platforms.
8. Give the Gift
A gift can be used to bless someone we care about and love; it can also be a tangible expression of how we value and honor another person, a way to make restitution or simply to provide for someone in need. While we may expect gifts on special occasions, gift-giving is more special when it wasn’t expected at all.
Surprise your loved ones with a gift once in a while for the spark in the relationship. If you would like to make a difference to the community, you can choose to donate to a cause of your choice.
9. Stay Connected offline and online
Through digital chat messenger applications like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram, we are able to stay in touch constantly without the need to meet physically. Effortless as it seems to allow us to stay connected 24/7, the drudgery of the lockdown during the pandemic is a rude awakening that nothing beats the intimacy of physical meetings. A hug, a pat on the back and just being in the presence of our loved ones meant a lot to some of us.
With that being said, digital chat messengers allow us to express our love and concern with ease, to reach out to a friend who is in need of encouragement and even to share memes for a laugh. A simple “how are you?” and “what have you been up to lately?” is all it takes to make the first connection a few finger clicks away.
So do you have any friends whom you have been out of touch with lately? Drop them a message to ask how they are and catch up with them face-to-face!
10. Show your love to the community
Seize the opportunity to volunteer with community and charitable organisations such as Heartware Network! Upon registering as a volunteer on Heartware Network’s Youthbank website, you would have access to an immersive selection of activities in the year 2022 such as the Support Our Pioneers Programme, Heartware Tuition Programme and Heartware Learning Together Programme etc.
By giving our time to the less privileged of society, we would have collectively made the world a much better place.