Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Generous Thoughts

Many years ago, I was working in the reservations department at Delta Air Lines. Even though we were a non-public department, we still had to dress up each day for work. Many people complained about this. I didn't mind, after all, I had 3 little kids and kind of enjoyed the opportunity to wear something other than sweats all day!

Anyway, it was generally very busy with calls coming in one right after the other with very little time to breathe in between. But one particular day, it was slow. I finished my call and it went silent. Before I knew it, the girl next to me, who was very attractive and whom I did not know, leaned over and said to me, "You are just the cutest thing!...I just had to tell you that".

I was SHOCKED! I was in my early 30's and used to hearing catty women gossip about other women and compliments were just not something I ever received. She made my day and it was one of the best days I had at work! I was more productive, I smiled when I spoke and I felt lifted up. Needless to say, this girl and I became good friends and have had a long-standing friendship ever since...that was 22 years ago.

Although it was very kind of her to say what she did, the real kindness she gave me was a very important lesson. She taught me that not only is it nice to compliment people, it's important.

A wonderful woman once said, "Never suppress a generous thought." ~Camilla Kimball

So I worked on that and at first was a bit self-conscious. I worried what people's reactions would be. Would they think that I was sincere? I can honestly say that every single compliment I have given since has been well received. I have thanked the baggers at the grocery store for working so hard and doing a great job only to be rewarded with a kind smile, knowing that someone appreciates their efforts. I have seen young girls beam when I tell them how beautiful their eyes are and even seen cute young waiters blush when I tell them they're a "total hottie " (boy do I get great service when I tell them that!)

Our world has become so negative and people have become so into their own busy lives that I think complimenting has become a thing of the past. Self-esteem is at an all time low. Our economy is tanking and people are stressed...think of how a sincere compliment can lift them...something as simple as,"I LOVE your shoes!!" (women love that one!)

When I pay a sincere compliment (and that's the only kind I give, by the way) I feel better too...How many times have you thought something nice but held it in? If I think it, I share it. If I hold it in, it becomes a wasted thought...it does wonders to share it.

We're all in this life together. We all have trials, challenges, heart-aches and sadness. Try it. Go out and look for kind things to say to people...share a compliment with a total stranger and you'll be amazed at what you see!


Lee said...

Thanks for the kind reminder beautiful Aunt Mary!

Lynn said...

Great post! I hope you don't mind, but I linked this post in my blog. It's a good one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. So true and so inspiring!

Donnetta said...

I will be making more of an effort to give intentional and sincere compliments. Very challenging. Thanks!