Looking For the Perfect Gift

The holidays will soon be upon us — and with them, the stress of finding that perfect gift for our families, friends, colleagues and employees.

Advertising comes at us from all angles, and we wonder what each person on our list might cherish or find useful. I would like to suggest a daring plan that can satisfy all the people who are important in your life — and save you hours at the mall. Because what most people really want in life is to be seen — really seen for who they are, the impacts they make, and the importance they have in our lives. Unfortunately, we live in a busy world in which our minds are filled with many concerns and the minutes and hours of our days seem to fly by at an astonishing pace. This leaves little time to really notice who other people are or to appreciate them for these qualities.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect gift for that special someone, a colleague, an employee, a child, or anyone else in your life, take a moment to acknowledge them for who they are.

Did a colleague cover for you when you needed to attend to a family matter? That was kindness in action. Did an employee admit making a mistake, even when he could have swept it under the rug? That took a lot of courage and integrity. How about a child who took it upon herself to clean her room? Impressive responsibility!

In dealing with patients, a simple acknowledgement of their effort and dedication to their good health in bringing down their blood sugar, wearing compression stockings, or exercising regularly means so much and goes a long way toward building partnership and trust.

During this year’s holiday season, when we are bombarded by messages about all those “things” that we can buy for the special people in our lives, consider giving something that will live on long past the time when the coffeemaker breaks down, the sweater is no longer in fashion, or the movie tickets have been used. If you feel the need to present a tangible object, a note to your kind colleague might mean more than a wallet, book, or other gift. An opportunity to accompany you on a trip or to attend an important event might demonstrate the value of the responsibility shown by your child with the clean room. Or you might find something that represents the quality that you admire in the person. A heart-shaped paperweight for the courageous employee would serve to remind him or her that you appreciate that value and might help to encourage more honest courage in the future.

After all, the word “courage” comes from the Latin root, cor, which means heart.