On Valentine's Day night I went out with some friends whose husbands are also deployed right now. We had a delicious dinner and then saw the new Valentine's Day movie - very cute. At the restaurant, a couple at a table near us heard from the waiter that we were a group of spouses with deployed husbands. When the waiter brought our table of 7 another round of whatever wine we were drinking, I asked him if it was a Valentine's Day special. He said no, the drinks were from a couple in the restaurant who really appreciated what our husbands do and what we do for our families. They wished to remain anonymous. We were so touched by such generousity and thoughtfulness - even moreso on a night when we were especially feeling the absence of the ones we love. Such appreciation and positive reinforcement is such a motivational breath of fresh air.
We discussed the importance of positive reinforcement today during my substitute teaching orientation. In the classroom, the ratio should be 5 positive comments to every 1 negative. I know the same is true in a marriage. Lately, I've been thinking about the importance of emphasizing the positive in everyone I interact with - family, friends, the cashier at the grocery store. I want to transform my thoughts and perceptions of others so that the negatives are drowned out by the positives - to see people through God's eyes - with compassion, love and acceptance. Easier said than done - especially when you're in a huge hurry and the customer ahead of you has a load of coupons, is paying with a check and the cashier is moving at a snail's pace.
I'm on the verge of another philosophical rambling here... I think I'll