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I have been alarmed over the past few years at the young people in our world and my own kids as well. Am I talking about screen time? What about the continued breakdown of social standards? Is it the language? Promiscuity? NO. It’s the fact that they drink warm pop (yeah, I said pop and not soda). Who does this? Room temperature pop? Disgusting.

Now, there’s hope. Rachel bought the kids some pop for Valentine’s Day. This morning I noticed something in the FRIDGE (picture above)! My little babies are growing.

Yes, I’m being quite a bit silly here. However, it is symbolic of something. It’s the little things that we need to notice in life and pay attention to them. I’ve asked my kids to put their cereal bowls in the sink. They did that. I then asked them to strain out the last bits of cereal out of them before putting them in the sink. They now do that. I realized that I hadn’t appreciated their efforts. So, I did….a few times.

You see, it’s the little things. I need to notice when the kids do the right things even when they aren’t magnanimous. I need to tell them. If I don’t, it will slowly disincentivize them from doing the right things in the future. Further, it will erode their sense of self worth. They could be left thinking, not necessarily in the front of their minds but deep within, that nothing they do is good enough. They could also feel like they are not accepted, appreciated, or respected.

The same is true in reverse as well. It’s one thing to not praise or acknowledge good things, but it’s another to consistently and/or “playfully” tear down a loved one. I hear it all of the time when people say, “I’m just kidding.” I see it when one spouse will belittle another in public. Very often it happens both ways. It’s playful, it’s not so much serious, it’s very often “funny”…but it’s not.

What are you accomplishing here? No matter what you are stealing an emotional need (like attention, respect, security) at your spouse’s expense. You are hurting them, even if it’s just a “little thing.” You say they don’t mind. Would they mind if you did the same thing but lifted them up? Would they mind if you honored, respected, appreciated, and set them apart in a positive manner for being your spouse? Unless something positive makes them very uncomfortable (which indicated a lifetime of negativity) they would not mind at all. In fact, I dare say that they’d feel blessed and loved.

It’s the little things. Yeah, the big things matter a lot. It would be better to tease your spouse than to cheat on them but is that your goal? Is it your focus to not be the the worst? Why not be the best spouse, friend, child, employee, neighbor you can be? You see, it starts with the little things.

It turns out this is my second post entitled “It’s the Little Things.” The first one was 5 and 1/2 years ago and a little bit different but worth a read.

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