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By Curtis Freed, MA, BCC

As we all are aware, we are experiencing some difficult times in our country today.  The recent coronavirus is dominating the headlines we have not seen since 9/11/2001.  People are discouraged and worried.  It effects all of us.  Let us all be mindful of others in times such as this.  It begins with the term Cordiality.

The core meaning of the term “cordial” is the word “heart.”  The heart of “heart” is kardia, a Greek word* that most often refers to the center of our inner life, i.e., the source or place of all the functions and forces of who we are.  Thus, when we are cordial to someone (it could be family, friends, co-workers, our patients & family members), we are acting on something that comes from the very center of our being.

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Being cordial to one another literally begins from the heart.  It starts with firmly believing that the others we come in contact with is important, genuinely significant and deserves our full attention.   Thus, we can and should be sensitive to the other’s persons feelings.  Cordiality helps put others at ease which leads to encouraging others in these times of uncertainty.

So how we project cordiality?  I have listed a few components:

  • A warm smile* – a smile communicates volumes to the other person
  • Direct eye contact* – it is said that the eyes reflect the feelings of the soul; let your eyes show that you care for the other person;
  • A word of encouragement* – how many of us could use an encouraging word in this stressful time?
  • A written note of encouragement – we are told to avoid shaking hands so maybe we can write someone a note  instead.

P.S.  Be an encourager by conveying cordiality!

*C. Swindoll (1994). The Finishing Touch (pg 556, 557), Word Publishing.


About the author

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Curtis Freed is a Spiritual Care Counselor for Harbor Hospice.  He is a Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC).  Prior to joining Harbor Hospice, he worked as a chaplain at Mercy VNS & Hospice for 3 years.   In addition, he worked as a chaplain for Spectrum Health at Butterworth and Blodgett Hospitals for 8 years.  He is a graduate of Liberty University (1987) and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary (1990).

For over 37 years, Harbor Hospice has provided compassionate end of life care for terminally ill patients and their families, addressing medical, emotional and spiritual needs regardless of ability to pay. Serving residents of lakeshore West Michigan, their team of professionals and volunteers connect patients and families with resources to align their goals of comfort and improved quality of life.

As a leader now in palliative and hospice care, Harbor Hospice and Harbor Palliative Care is committed to alleviating patients’ symptoms and providing choices to help the patient achieve optimum well-being.

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