Never lose a chance of saying a kind word. -William Makepeace Tackeray
Never underestimate the power of a compliment: nothing costs less nor is cheaper to give, and nothing lights up the soul in the same way. This past weekend, after a frustrating week of personal ups and downs, I was reminded first hand just exactly how transformational an unexpected compliment from a stranger can be. On our way out to dinner in the National Harbor, my boyfriend and I were passed by a gaggle of girls, probably high schoolers, all seemingly up to date on the latest fashions. One girl saw me, turned back, consulted with her friends, and then broke off from the group in my direction. She approached me quickly and apologized for being forward, and then added that she couldn’t help but tell me that I looked “absolutely stunning.” Her words changed the way I felt for the rest of the weekend. Her words revived my spirit and made me feel extraordinarily special that night. I couldn’t put a price on how a few simple words made me feel, and even more amazingly, she has no idea how profoundly she impacted my weekend.
Authenticity of self is best expressed when you share the positive things you think about others. Don’t assume that they already know the obvious; most people don’t have full mastership and acceptance of just exactly how wonderful their qualities are, so your breath is never wasted when you are sharing words of affirmation to others.
To the random teenager that made me feel like a movie star for a night: THANK YOU. To the rest of us: may we never lose a day where we don’t profoundly impact the lives of others through the power of a small compliment, to both those we know and to those we don’t. An authentic compliment is among the best feelings in the world, and everyone deserves to feel that great every day.