How do you express your appreciation, your respect, your care, your love? How do you prefer others to show the same to you?
Reference: The Five Languages of Love by Dr Gary Chapman
I have found the insights on “languages of love” really useful:
I learned that while I like to receive words of affirmation, I appreciate that my husband often expresses his love through acts of service. Richard was our cook and main housekeeper as I spent evenings on my Soroptimist work. I once offered to help – and his response was that he would do the dishes – my job was to save the world!
Words Of Affirmation: These can be specific compliments or letters / cards of thanks. I was delighted at my first Soroptimist International Board meeting to receive letters of greetings and support from all the available Past International Presidents. What a privilege that they all did this small but significant gesture to stand by the incoming President.
Gifts: Giving and receiving gifts can bring joy to the giver and receiver. It’s not the cost but the thought. At the first Soroptimist International Board meeting in July 2015, I gave each Director a simple handmade gift of a flower brooch which I had made myself. I am no craftsperson! I felt very gratified that they would accept my humble gift so graciously. They understood that the flower was a symbol. I did the same at the final board meeting for the 2015 – 2017 biennium in July 2017. I gave them each a handmade woolen felted heart – with my “heart-felt” thanks.
Acts of Service: Soroptimists are volunteers – and generous with their time and resources, sharing of skills and expertise. It was a privilege to have such generous and talented women in leadership roles. The officers, like Pat below, worked hours unpaid to enable us to undertake our mission to transform the lives and status of women and girls.
Touch: This is a delicate one. One must take into account cultural sensitivities – for some the head is sacred, and not to be touched whereas in another culture a pat on the head is a sign of endearment.
Quality time with my Soroptimist sisters – whether it be in Italy, Australia, Mongolia or Ireland – has been a highlight of my membership.
Quality Time. Our family always had dinner together – and the conversations around the table have been highlights and provided wonderful memories. I have also been privileged to spend meaningful time with friends and sister Soroptimists. Priceless!
The 5 languages of love have been a helpful tool: there have been many times when I have been called on to reply to a toast to Soroptimist International. If it is a surprise, and I have not had time to research and come up with something original, I can recall the 5 languages of love and use them as a basis for a response:
I thank the proposers for
- Their kind words (Words of Affirmation)
- The time they took to research our organisation ( Quality Time)
- Their willingness to speak publicly ( Act of Service) and then I offer the following to make it a 5 / 5 occasion:
- A small thank you gift, maybe a pen, or a badge (Gift) and
- Offer a Hand Shake, High Five or Hug ( Physical Touch)