Thinking back upon the many beautiful cards I’ve received, some of my favorites were those from our children when they were young. Even today, remembering those hand made cards with their heart-felt sentiments puts a smile on my face. Retailers, eager to make a sale, encourage us to demonstrate our affection for those we love through giving impressive gifts. I have found, however, that the best gifts we give one another involve offering a bit of ourselves in the process.
Reminiscing about old times with family, enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend or taking a walk together, for instance, shows them that they matter to us. When face to face interaction is not possible, even a phone call, letter or e-mail reminds them they are important. I believe the popularity of social media indicates a desire for this personal connection.
Many speakers realize the value of sharing a part of themselves with their audiences. Some do this through humor, especially self-deprecating humor. A speaker who can laugh at himself or herself tends to put listeners at ease. Others relate to their audiences through telling personal anecdotes which illustrate the speech’s message. They may use accounts of how they handled a common situation or experience. These techniques have a way of making a speech both interesting and relevant to listeners.
Whether giving a prepared speech or in everyday communication, taking time to share ourselves with others is one of the most precious gifts we can bestow. Words are often forgotten and material items will pass away with the passage of time. The people who shared their lives with us and the way they made us feel occupy a treasured place in our memories.