People who take time.
I am a multitasker, a rusher, a packer of minutes into moments. I tend to require reasons, justifications, dual-purposes. I like killing two ~ or three, or six ~ birds with one stone. This has served me well as a freelancer, working independently to accomplish what I need to and simultaneously have a life, a family, a satisfying set of goals and dreams.
But when it comes to others, I often have to force myself to slow, to listen, to be still and engaged. When my son wants to play his latest guitar solo for me or my daughter wants to confide the nightmare that woke her last night, I must make a concerted effort to put down whatever I'm doing (showing not a wisp of irritation at the interruption), turn around, and take note. I have to work so hard to cultivate what seems to come naturally to so many others.
Take, for instance, coaches in the junior and senior high schools. As my kids have played their way through various sports ~ track, cross-country, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling ~ I can honestly say, the men and women who have coached them impressed me over and over with their generosity. For the most part, these are teachers with families, hobbies, and lives of their own. And while they do get paid to coach, somehow I don't think this quite compensates for the matches that run late on school (i.e., work) nights, early away meets on weekend mornings, inclement sideline duty, hostile parents, and the incredible trickiness of dealing with teens en masse.
And this also goes for people who volunteer to take time and share in the capacity of scout leaders, community sports coaches, Sunday school teachers, and activity coordinators in nursing homes and community centers. These positions require huge sacrifices in terms of time, and since none of us has much to spare, I am really grateful for those who are so unselfish with this precious commodity.
And going one step further than this, I'm thankful for people who take the time just to do something for someone else though it creates inconvenience them. Though it may not bring them any personal benefit at all to do so. The guy who walks his shopping cart all the way back into the store on a rainy day so someone will have a dry cart to use. A woman who visits a neighbor with Alzheimer's in the nursing home every few days, even though that neighbor will never, ever recognize her but likes having someone to eat lunch with.
I'm thankful for people who make time to take time, and who share it in ways, large or subtle, that impact people around them for the better.
What are you thankful for today?