Today at the shop there was a woman in her sixties shopping with a woman in her 70's or 80's. One asked me if they could use the 3D glasses so that they could see how the panel hanging on the wall was 3D. I got them the glasses and then told them when they were done I had something else to show them. I had discovered that not only the special 3D fabric was 3D but others had the same effect with the glasses! We had fun looking at different fabrics with the glasses. After this they shopped around a bit and when the younger one was ready to make a purchase they stood across the counter and I had a question brewing in my head that I just had to ask. Now I know you are not supposed to ask a woman her age, but I don't care about rules like that. I asked the older of the two her age. She said 88. She really looked amazing. She had wrinkles and no one would mistake her for a young woman but she was just beautiful just the same. I told her that she was beautiful. I asked what her secret was and she didn't respond with what I thought she would, like a good diet, lots of exercises, fresh air, and the like. She wasn't quite sure what her secret was but she talked of having a good attitude and a desire to keep living. Her countenance as she spoke was that of joy and graciousness and I'm sure that was from her life and gave her life too. I hope that she left the store feeling refreshed in her spirit by the compliment.
Later in the day, I went through the drive-through at Burger King. I know, I know, the horrors of processed food! We are trying to eat more healthy and I had planned on cooking lots of veggies in my food for dinner. So I digress, I got fast food, but I ordered water instead of a soda. So.....I do have a few redeeming qualities! The young lady who was at the drive-up window handed me my water and there was something different about her. I am often met with a bit of dullness at the drive-through. Maybe people are just bored with their jobs. But this girl had a brightness about her. I remember an old boss from a teenage job I had refer to people as bright or sharp (I can't remember the word) and I didn't quite know how she could see that in people. I get it now. Once a few words leave a person's mouth and you see the gleam in their eyes or lack thereof you get a pretty instant read. I felt compelled to tell her what I saw and I said to her, "You have a brightness about you." I also told her that I bet she was smart and she responded by telling me that she was going to the local community college studying chemical engineering. She had a big smile on her face! My hope was to brighten her day and let her know that her brightness and intelligence could be seen. I wanted to encourage her.
Now I know that I'm weird like this and brave like this and it isn't on the normal spectrum. I get that. I think my ease of complimenting strangers is an oddity and more so a gift that I have. I mean these compliments in goodwill. Paying a compliment to someone doesn't cost you any money, so they are gifts that you can generously give anytime and as often as you can do so honestly.
To me, this is very easy, but to others this is difficult to reach out to a stranger this way. Doing this with a stranger could seem just outright weird for you, but could you do it with a friend or loved one?
The lesson of the day: An honest compliment brings a smile to another's face. My hope is that it brings encouragement and confidence to the receiver too. Even a pauper can give gifts with great generosity because it is always in one's power to give a compliment.