Thoughtful Thursday is a time to be mindful of others—at home, work, and in public—and realize that they may have thoughts, concerns, and needs that we haven't been aware of. It is a day to try to be more aware of their feelings and to be more considerate and thoughtful. The day is part of Be Kind to Humankind Week, which is "a celebration of people and the kind acts that they perform all across the globe." Lorraine Jara created the week in 1988 after reading a story about two young men in her town of Toms River, New Jersey, who had flipped over in a rowboat. Two ladies from another boat pulled them out of the cold water, but their boat was not motorized and they didn't have a radio to call for help. Two boats with radio antennas passed and did not stop to help. A person from one of those boats apparently even said, "We don't want to be bothered." One of the two boaters who had fallen in the water ended up dying. Jara was devastated by what had happened in her town and wanted to honor the memory of the deceased man, so she started Be Kind to Humankind Week.
How to Observe Thoughtful Thursday
The creator of the day has suggested the following ways to celebrate:
- Don't wait for the holidays to cook your family a favorite meal.
- Be the best friend you can be by always being there when your friend needs you the most.
- Pick up the phone and say hello to a friend who's in need of a little conversation.
- Invite a friend or relative over for lunch.
- Get involved in volunteer work in your community.
- Hold doors for people behind you.
- Give up your seat on a bus or train to a person who could use it more.
- Allow a person with fewer groceries than yourself to cut in front of you in line.
- Try to be conscientious of other's feelings.
- Send a person who is depressed a little note to lift their spirits.
- Don't forget to say things like "please," "thank you," and "excuse me."
- Cut out savings coupons for all and any baby items as many struggling young parents will appreciate them. Leave them in eyesight on the shelves in the grocery store's diaper section.
- When you offer to help a person in time of need, don't say, "If there is anything I can do, just call," because most of the time they will not call you. Instead, follow up on your offer by contacting them personally to offer your assistance.