Today I am going to write about friendship, in particular, a friendship I have formed with two of my English student, Jule and Xue Li. They are both Chinese mothers who are in Australia supporting their children through their education.
I must admit I did not have any Chinese friends before meeting these two wonderful women and really knew very little about everyday Chinese culture, perhaps the Great Wall of China was visible from space and that there are 2 billion Chinese and that is a lot of people.
Since then I have learnt of their deep respect for educators, that they do not have snags at Chinese BBQ’s and they include you in their circle of friends. Here is a photo that was taken on Monday at the National Gallery of Victoria on an excursion to a Japanese fashion exhibition they organised instead of having English lessons:
They make me smile with their antics, they met each other at English classes, are from totally different areas of China and have different cultural backgrounds. Here is a quite long list my friend Marc Chernoff wrote about how to make people smile, several of them relate to how Julie and Xue Li make me smile:
1. Smile Often.
2. Hold a door open for someone,
3. Pay for the person in line behind you.
4. Send a hand-written thank you card to someone who assisted you with something.
5. Clean out all your old clothes and donate them to someone in need.
6. Give a compliment about a waiter, waitress, sales clerk, etc. to his or her manager.
7. Compliment a stranger’s appearance. Flatter them.
8. Leave encouraging post-it notes in library books and other random places.
9. Help an elderly person carry something.
10. Send flowers to someone anonymously.
11. Be a courteous driver. Let people merge in front of you.
12. Volunteer at a children’s hospital or nursing home.
13. Donate blood.
14. Buy house warming gifts for new neighbours.
15. Introduce yourself. Make new colleagues, classmates, etc. feel welcome.
16. Inspire others online.
17. Send letters of appreciation to business owners/managers and other people who support you.
18. Treat everyone with the same level of respect you’d give to your grandfather.
19. Give everyone the same level of patience you’d have with your baby sister.
20. Appreciate people the way they are.
21. Share your lunch or a snack with someone who doesn’t have one.
22. Put some change in an expired parking meter.
23. Check up on someone who looks lonely.
24. Tell your boss, teacher or professor that he or she is doing a great job and that you appreciate what they’ve taught you.
25. Create places and things for others to enjoy. Like decorating your house for the holidays or creating a piece of art.
26. If you overhear that it’s someone’s birthday, go out of your way to wish them a happy one.
27. Ask someone for their opinion or advice.
28. Bring cookies or bagels to work for everyone.
29. Tip waiters and waitresses well when they deserve it.
30. Be a part of something you believe in. Those around you will notice your enthusiasm.
31. Leave a thank-you note for the office janitors.
32. Help bag your own groceries at the checkout counter.
33. Offer your seat to someone when there aren’t any left.
34. Let someone with only a few items cut you in line at the grocery store.
35. Wave to a kid in the car next to you.
36. Spread the good news.
37. Repeat something nice you heard about someone else.
38. Remember people’s names and address them accordingly.
39. When you make eye contact with someone, smile.
40. Replace what you’ve used. For example, fill up the copier or printer with paper after you’re done using it.
41. Share your umbrella on a rainy day.
42. Listen intently to people’s stories without trying to fix everything.
43. Dance with someone who hasn’t been asked.
44. Call a stranger’s attention to a beautiful sunset or full moon.
45. Give words of encouragement toward someone’s dream, no matter how big or small it is.
46. Ask someone who enjoys cooking for a recipe.
47. Let someone else eat the last slice of pizza or cake.
48. Stop and buy a drink from a kid’s lemonade stand.
49. Help someone get your parking space in a crowded parking lot when you’re leaving.
50. Ask someone you see every now and then if they’ve lost weight.
51. Do a little something extra to make someone else’s life easier.
52. Use all the manners you learned in Kindergarten.
53. Listen to someone’s pain and help them find a path through it.
54. Give without expecting to get back.
55. Encourage others to do one unanticipated kind or helpful act at least once a week.
56. Observe everyone without judging.
57. Say “Please” and “Thank you.”
58. Forgive and let go of anger. For instance, if somebody accidentally cuts you off in traffic, just let it go.
59. Believe in yourself with all of your heart. People will notice.
60. Don’t be so serious all the time.
61. Treat every small interaction with another person as an opportunity to make a positive impact in both your lives.
62. Greed, anger and ignorance. Avoid all three.
63. Speak your truth.
64. Teach others how to make a difference by setting an example.
65. Help others be independent.
66. Give people the space they need.
67. Lend your shoulder to cry on.
68. Offer encouragement after a failure.
69. Acknowledge people for a job well done.
70. Tell a good joke.
71. Clean up after yourself.
72. Excel at what you do. People appreciate professionals.
73. Create a care package and send it to an active duty military unit.
74. Redirect gifts. Instead of having people give you birthday and holiday gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a good cause.
75. Stop to help. The next time you see someone pulled over with a flat tire, or in need of assistance, stop and ask how you can help
76.Put a small personal touch on everything you do. People notice and appreciate individuality.
77. Take the time to teach someone a skill you know.
78. Help someone get active. There’s a coworker or acquaintance in your life who wants to get healthy but needs a helping hand. Offer to go walking or running together, to join a gym together.
79. Send a nice email to a tech support representative who has assisted you.
80. Donate food to a charity.
81. Stand up for someone. Lend your voice. Often the powerless, the homeless, the neglected in our world need someone to speak up for them.
82. If you see a couple taking a self-pic, offer to take the picture for them.
83. Help the weary shopper in front of you who needs those extra two or three cents to avoid breaking a 20-dollar bill.
84. Come to the rescue. If you realize someone is sick, bring them some hot tea, etc.
85. Stand up for your beliefs without flaunting them.
86. Make yourself available and approachable.
87. Over-deliver on all of your promises and obligations.
88. Be positive and focus on what’s right.
88 Luft ballons of how to make people smile later we move on, what does the world say about the value of friendships, here are a few of my favourites:
1. The power of we, it can make you well.
2. They are your personal Santa’s little helper: That’s What Friends Are For.
3. I so love that silence, it is special.
4. We are all along for the ride, where the hell are we going: No Idea.
5. Thank them for letting you practice being in the world.
6. Become the disturbance in their life that has them known they are loved: Greatest Love of All.
7. Heartspace, Soul Love.
8. One of the main benefits of having healthy friendships: Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.
9. Because I loved the image.
10. The Bard chimes in with this classic: Grown Woman.
11. Cripps or Bloods, Choose.
12. Kids movies have certainly offered up some of the worlds greatest quotes: Always look on the Bright Side of Life.
13. We don’t have to always feel our best to make life long friends.
14, Miraculous, really: Promised You a Miracle.
15. Angelo Lagusa is the main protagonist of the game 91 Days. He is an orphan who lost his parents and brother to the Vanetti Family, having witnessed them being gunned down on his birthday.
So a final word on how to generate meaningful friendships: Above all, live proudly. Inspire people with who you are and how you live your life.
The playlist begins today with a famous crew: Whitney, Luther, Dionne and Stevie. Don Tolver is new to me. Whitney Houston again. then some great pop from Wham. My pop diva fetish is fulfilled with Beyonce. Eric Idle is silly next and we finish with some live Simple Minds: No, I Don’t Think I’ll Kiss You!!!
Friendships, some last less than a month, others are from your childhood. However long, I firmly believe they are what will make my ethos for the planet, Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included become reality. Until we meet again, my dear friends.