(Palos Verdes, California)
“I just think it’s silly to be stingy with compliments. If you see someone and they strike you as beautiful in any way, why not let them know?”
Obviously I embrace this mindset and during the past year, I’ve made it a point to let people know of any observation that justifies praise of the quality of their character and/or characteristics, regardless of age, gender, race, et., since my senses are not limited by filters that may distort them. I’m sure it may appear to some as a way to draw attention to myself, but it’s more an expression of gratitude for drawing my attention to them. Acknowledgement of another’s simple beauty is no less glorious than the artistry captured in the works of Da Vinci or the Egyptian pyramids, and can be simply appreciated within our personal surroundings and observations.
Here’s an abstract concept. There is nothing more remarkable than the feelings generated when an infant smiles or giggles in response to our presence. Regardless of the setting, I know that I am mesmerized by such simple expressions of a baby who’s just discovering awareness of that which is around him/her. I suppose in those simple moments, that newborn reminds me of the power behind a simple “compliment”. I mean this tiny human being sees with fresh, untarnished eyes in front of them how I’d like to see and feel about myself, sharing it so willingly and without restriction that in that moment, I actually am that person! Such simple and modest an action by someone so young and small, but how magnetic and mystical the emotions and semi-comedic actions generated in our responses.
We are taught about the concept of our inner-soul but there is no specific definition of its precise makeup as it relates to each individual. There are objective explanations that we are given mainly through religious interpretations and then additionally defined by our subjective measurements through personal experience and enlightenment.
Our souls grow through the wealth of daily trials we encounter and then it is measured by the results and the quality of our responses. We cannot define it by compliments we strive for, desire, or demand, since then we are confusing our souls with vanity, ego, and at times insecurity. Our souls soar when we receive them unexpectedly, from the most unlikely sources, with some thought and genuineness, and best of all when it’s needed the most.
For me, my soul travels outside my inner self and is strengthened when I offer complimentary observations not necessarily based on the response I receive in return, but more the appreciation of someone or something that is part of my world as it exists at that moment. “Stingy with compliments” just robs ourselves of opportunities to expand the width and depth of our awareness. It also restricts our connection with the innocence of our youth going back to our infancy that is often shuttered behind the travails of our time.
Lacking better words on my own, I have embraced and am determined to live through the following quotation because it has given me sanctuary from everyday discord, and provides peace and rhythm to my day. My hope is after reading it, you will do more than embrace it as you live!
“I will be generous with my love today. I will sprinkle compliments and uplifting words everywhere I go. I will do this knowing that my words are like seeds and when they fall on fertile soil, a reflection of those seeds will grow into something greater.”