With Our Compliments

What was the greatest compliment you’ve ever received? It is my greatest hope that there are several from which to choose; however, I know we all have a few that make us smile just to remember. Two great compliments stand out for me, the first in grade four when the smartest, funniest and most popular kid in my class, Jeff Walker, turned to me and said, “You are very funny.” Truly I think this feedback gave me the confidence to try to be humourous and to regale my family and friends with my high-class humour in all these intervening years.

I received the second super memorable compliment when I worked in a community home near Oshawa; I had two children under three and I felt tired and overwhelmed all the time. A co-worker said to me that she admired how I came in for each shift looking well put together and ready for anything. I think this compliment instilled in me the idea that whatever is going on, I can bring it and get it done. This comment was just what I needed to feel like I was contributing despite my frazzled state.

Compliments can change our trajectory in big and small ways. Here is the thing, they have less impact if sprinkled all over the place in a disingenuous fire hose method to anyone standing close by. People want to be seen, heard and given some space. Speak up when you notice something great big and small, you never know what the whole story of a person’s day is, that one comment about having your hair done with only a hint of baby food in it could be the ticket to a more energetic day and a long-cherished memory.

You just never know, and it literally costs nothing to pass on a little hint of complimentary fuel to the journey of the others around you. Notice what’s great, and even in a messy day of lots going wrong, you will notice more of what’s great starts to happen. And to Jeff Walker, if this gets to you, many have since told me I am not that funny – especially in my affection for puns – but you and I know the truth.

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