Brenda’s Blog – December 29, 2020
I laughed as I opened the new package of face masks. Across the front were the words: One Size Fits Most. I have items from bathrobes, socks, shower caps, and sweater coats which proudly boast “One size fits all.” The key is in defining fit, isn’t it?
A sock company has emerged with the sole purpose of differentiating sizes. “How can a size 9 adequately serve a size 11?” the ad asks. You are being underserved and your feet are paying the price for this gross generalization is the unspoken message. You deserve customized foot coverings.
As I thought about it the phrase took on broader applications. What about encouragement? What about love? One size definitely doesn’t fit all.
My dearly loved daughter in law is designed to see and appreciate details. To flippantly throw out “you did a good job,” or even “you look nice today” do not satisfy. They roll off without leaving a residue of encouragement. Knowing this I decided years ago to develop my ability to specifically speak words of hope and love. Out of this desire came the MMM (Monday Morning Message). Each week I send her an email expressing very focused ways I am grateful for her. By now they have become very newsy and chatty, but they started out as a way I could share my love for her in her language.
The outcome far exceeds the initial effort. My love and appreciation for her has grown into a deep and lasting friendship. Seeing her exceptional gifts for parenting, as well as loving my son, evoke profound emotions. If I had never tried very hard to find the size that fits her, I may have missed some precious exchanges.
I had a friend who always encouraged me to triage projects. There are some which only require “cheap and cheerful,” he would say. Every job doesn’t require the same amount of effort. He was saying, “Brenda, one size doesn’t fit all,” wasn’t he?
Reading the classic book on love languages taught me to explore the hearts of others, discovering the way they receive and acknowledge love. We aren’t all the same. When we find what translates, our interactions are more fruitful. We tend to assume our love language is the same for all – but we short circuit relationships with this faulty thinking.
“One size fits most” is certainly truth in advertising for face coverings, but misses the mark when uncovering human chemistry.