I have been thinking a lot about what to write... as I haven't had time yet to sit down and type up all the kindnesses from those 8 journals! So when today happened I just had to share!
I got "Kindness-ed" today! I know its not a word... but I like to think it applies.
Today I was wandering home from work... I have about an 800m walk to the train station. On my way two cyclist were stopped on the side of the bike path. One was looking bored, whilst the other fixed his bike, so I did what I always do when approaching strangers, and I smiled at him. He smiled back. That was cool. A little kindness done.
I walked past and had to basically walk back past him as I walked up the ramp to go over the bridge to the train station. At which point I smiled at him again. And he smiled back.
Then he yelled (as I was almost past him, if not above him)... "You have a beautiful smile. Keep smiling".
I yelled "Thank you" and possibly blushed and then was out of sight.
It was really nice to receive a compliment!
Giving compliments is one of the simplest ways to encourage someone. It is also one of the simplest and quickest kindnesses a human can do. You can give them to strangers and loves ones... and those in between!
"You look beautiful today!"
"I love that colour on you!"
"You are an incredible multi-tasker."
One of the things I have had to learn as an adult is to actually TAKE a compliment. In this day and age we often negate what others say about us that is positive because it is unfamiliar territory. But you can embrace the "amazing-ness" in yourself. And embracing you own "amazing-ness" means you can then share it with others.
The following are not the best ways to respond to the compliment someone gives you... because you are actually negating the compliment.
"Oh, this old thing?"
"You must have me confused with somebody else"
"Yeah, but I could do better."
The best way to respond to a compliment (at least the way I have found) is to look them in the eye and simply say "Thank you." That is all it takes to receive a compliment.
Don't ever doubt that you are wonderful, beautiful, and creative. You are all those things! Those attributes exist in each of us and they are different in each of us. I love finding what makes someone creative because for me it is art yet for someone else it might be the way they write, dance, sing, play a musical instrument, build a boat, tell jokes, build Lego, plan adventures, spray paint, decorate cakes, build computer generated worlds, make clothes, create culinary masterpieces... oh the list goes on... and on... and on...
Which reminds me of the Albert Einstein quote about trees and fish... you know the one...
What i am trying to say is that everyone has something that they can be complimented on. Yes sometimes it is a little harder to see than it is for others, but everyone has something that is wonderful about them.
I love starting conversations with hard people! you know the ones who insist on being rude to you even though you have only just met them? My game is that I try to find something to compliment them on by the end of the conversation. Sometimes, it is not appropriate to say "I love your amazing eyelashes" or "Wow, you are a formidable person", yet as I am looking for something to be happy about them, it is like a light in the other person shines for me. Yeah... I know that sounds corny. But I love corny. I love that I can see the beauty in someone, that maybe others may not see. I hope that one day everyone will see that beauty in everyone they meet along their path. It isn't easy... but it is a wonderful way of living.
One thing that complimenting Kindnesses remind me of is the story of The Warm Fuzzy's and the Cold Prickly's... if you ever want to read the story you can here. It is all about how being kind to others means that there is more kindness to give out. Being generous means there is more generosity around you. The story also addresses people who give out things that look nice but actually leave a cold and prickly feeling on the inside. These could be seen as kindness, but is masking the rude intent behind it. Anyway, it is a very good story and has been translated into lots of languages. I love it. So you should totally check it out.
It is funny really... this was going to be a little post about how I got complimented on the way home from work. I love that it turned into a little more. I hope you enjoyed my enthusiastic sideways jaunt because I believe giving compliments as an act of kindness is simple and can be done almost all the time. If you gave one compliment a day, your kindnesses would start stacking up around you... just like me... and other people would be touched by your kindness too.
Hope this finds you all well,