Compliments, Chatting & Connections
When I feel happy, it spills out all over. Those of you who know me, know that I love to chat!
I love connecting with people. Sometimes, it is just to exchange a smile or a nod as I pass someone on the street. Compulsive? Perhaps. Fun, fascinating, rewarding? Most definitely. If you have not yet tried it, I highly recommend the practice!
The Very Nice Lady
One of my favorite things to do is to pay someone a totally unexpected compliment, right out of the blue. It is so much fun to surprise someone with a"You look so lovely today" or "Thank you for bagging, you did such a nice job." I'm always rewarded with a big smile and a "Thank you!" Sometimes it turns out that we take a little time to chat. Other times, we just exchange some wonderful positive energy -- a lovely deposit to our emotional bank accounts.
I have come to listen to my intuitive "time to chat" sense even when it might seem inappropriate. Recently, I was edging down a crowded aisle of a plane. I could hear sighs of exasperation as progress down the isle became clogged to a standstill as it always seems to do. Never one to simply look straight ahead, I was enjoying the sea of faces of those already comfortably settled. Then I noticed an elderly lady sitting all alone.
Because of what I do, I always notice someone who has taken some time to look nice and put together.
I stopped, looked at the Very Nice Lady, put my hand on her shoulder and said, "I can't help but notice how really lovely you look; it is always such a pleasure to see such a charming, attractive woman."
She looked up at me, a bit startled, then her eyes sparkled and with a big smile, she responded, "Why, my dear, no one has told me that in more years than I care to remember! Thank you so much."
The atmosphere on the plane actually changed. The passengers around the Very Nice Lady began to smile, too, including my impatient aisle-mates. Everyone just seemed in a bit less of a hurry. I put that little exchange into my Favorite Moments file.
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
A simple compliment -- most especially to the lovely person that greets us in the mirror every day -- a kind word, a genuine expression of thanks, even for a small service, creates an invitation to pay it forward.
You and I will never know how our compliment will become transformed throughout the days, weeks or months, passed along from person to person, finally to be received by someone in great need at the exact time an extra dose of kindness or encouragement was called for.
So simple, so powerful but with the potential to change the world, one person at a time.
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