Consideration: A Family Practice
Consideration is giving careful thought to the needs of others. It is also holding a decision in a contemplative and thoughtful way. We mindfully consider what will result from our choices before we act. We speak with gentleness and tact. We care about others and their feelings. We carefully observe their preferences and needs, then do things to give them ease or bring them joy. Consideration shines in small daily acts that add to the happiness of others. It is one of the most meaningful ways to show love. Considerate people givie the very best gifts.
In the Family
The virtue of Consideration within a family is demonstrated by members valuing each other’s feelings, needs, and perspectives in a thoughtful and empathetic manner. It is shown through active listening, open communication, and a genuine effort to understand one another.
In a considerate family, decisions are made collectively, considering the impact on all members. Disagreements are resolved with respect, avoiding hurtful language or actions.
Thoughtfulness extends to daily interactions, where small gestures of kindness and accommodation contribute to a harmonious environment. This virtue fosters a sense of unity, as each family member feels acknowledged and valued, leading to stronger bonds and a more supportive familial connection.
“Blessed is one…who adds to the happiness of another.” — Zoroastrianism, Yasht 22:4
“A moment of consideration often prevents a thousand apologies.” Kevin J. Anderson
“Good manners is the techniques for expressing consideration for the feelings of others.” Alice Duer Miller
The Practice of Consideration
- I think about what others need.
- I am thoughtful of their feelings.
- I speak gently and tactfully.
- I hold decisions with care and discernment.
- I take joy in bringing joy to others.
- I show my love in thoughtful acts.
“No one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” Anonymous
Signs of Success
- Stop and think how your actions will affect others
- Think of little things to bring others happiness
- Respect other people’s needs and feelings
- What is one of the most considerate things anyone ever did for you?
- How can you tell what is the best gift to give to someone?
- Name three considerate things you can do that will make a big difference to your family.
Consideration is the combination of so many of the virtues. Love, joyfulness, peacefulness, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness are all virtues that we want to see in our family.Yet, many times we find ourselves showing the opposite. Demonstrating consideration with these other virtues creates the family life that we have dreamed of when we first started our family. Bringing this virtue out of ourselves and our children requires that we make it a practice. If Consideration is the virtue you are focusing on with your family this week or month you may want to try these activities:
- Make a list of people you care about most and find one thoughtful thing each member of the family can do to bring them happiness
- Find someone who needs help and do something helpful
- Draw a name out of a hat and do something considerate for them this week
- Look for ways other family members have shown consideration for you and write it down. Put the paper on the refrigerator for all to see.