Having lived in “the south,” one learns various phrases that are regularly used, but not intended to be taken seriously or literally. One is, “Y’all come see us.” It’s a nice way of saying good-bye while supposedly suggesting an open invitation to “drop by.” Now, on the whole I do think southerners are more expressive in their personal warmth than their northern neighbors. (No Wal-Mart cashier in northern Ohio has ever addressed me as “Honey” or “Darlin.”) However, while they would put on a good face, most southerners would be unsettled if there were unannounced drop-ins from all those to whom they have said, “Y’all come see us.”
I once read that saying good things can trick our brains with the feeling that we have actually done them. However, in the process it causes us to be less motivated to actually do that good thing. Thus, if we are serious about doing something good, we probably should “just do it,” and if we need to talk about it we save it until after the deed is done.
Frequently we say, “If there’s anything I can do to help just let me know.” My observation is that this is a phrase well-used by people everywhere. Unfortunately, if someone takes us up on it, our calendars are often already filled with other things.
So, what to do? Two things:
One, just DO it.
Two, be willing to rearrange your (my) calendar when lesser things should give way to the “anything I can do to help.” These will keep the “good vibes” in place until they should become actual. Furthermore, it will make quite a statement in our “talk is cheap” world. And most importantly…it really will help someone.