Many years ago, far too many to admit, I was at a wedding when one of my friends told me that she had overheard three women talking about me. That’s never a good sign right? But as it turned out, the women were actually paying me a compliment as my friend overheard them say, “I never realized how pretty she is.”
For a young woman struggling with self-esteem issues, that comment made my night. The fact that I remember it so clearly years later attests to the fact that that little comment, by people I didn’t know and still don’t know, has had a lifelong impact on me. Those women will never know that and most likely wouldn’t even remember the comment, but to me it had a monumental and lasting impact.
I’ve been lucky enough to have two similar experiences throughout my life and each time it happens I go through a myriad of emotions. As a private person I can’t help but bemoan the fact that complete strangers are talking about me, but when I get past that thought I’m flooded with surprise, delight and, if I’m being totally honest, pure joy. That feeling stays with me for a long time and like the very first time it happened, the person who paid me the compliment probably forgot it the next day.
Here’s the thing though. As much as I have appreciated and been impacted by being the recipient of such nice thoughts, I have learned that it can be equally impactful to me to be the giver. Seeing a smile build on someone’s face as it sinks in that the stranger addressing them has just made their day is worth more than any compliment I could ever receive. I might never see that person again, but if we happen to run into each other in the grocery store in the future, I can guarantee that I will receive a smile in return and maybe, just maybe, I will have made a new friend.
What goes around comes around in this thing we call life and if you believe that, believe this… the blessings you bestow on others will come back to you. Whether it be complimenting someone or doing something to make someone else’s life easier, if you can put a smile on someone else’s face you will have made their day and in return you might have made your own!
When you see something beautiful in someone, tell them!
Be well my friends for you make me smile every day….