Yesterday, Linda over at Multilocus wrote a post that struck a chord with me. She talked of taking the time to make eye contact and share a smile with another person (or people) with whom we have casual contact during a day's time.
Her post reminded me of something I wrote shortly after I started blogging in 2008. I looked it up and decided to repeat it here today.
Years ago I made an embroidered sampler that hangs in my kitchen. It says, "I Know I'm Efficient. Tell Me I'm Beautiful."
An acquaintance of ours, who was a talented and well-respected physician (the last I knew he was running an AIDS hospice in the middle of New York City), stopped in briefly one day to pick up a part for his wood stove that we had ordered for him. (We were dealers for Jotul wood stoves at the time.)
As he was standing in the doorway, I could see he was looking across the kitchen and reading my sampler. He got a little, half-smile on his face, nodded his head slowly and said, "Ain't that the truth."
This was not a vain man who needed constant reassuring in regards to his physical attractiveness, but a well-established, highly intelligent, professional person who one would assume had all the confidence in the world. And yet, the basic need for appreciation and reassurance of one's "beauty," be it of physical body or soul, was there just as strongly as in any of the rest of us.
Much of the time we are all too willing to loudly and frequently make fun of imperfection in body shape, grouse about personality short-falls or voice our irritation regarding the habits of those around us.
But how often do we take the time to pay someone a compliment? "You have such gorgeous eyes." "You have really beautiful hair." "You have the most attractive smile." "Your delightful laugh is so uplifting." When wouln't it make any of us feel wonderful to be given an honest compliment?
If we would all make a conscious effort to give a compliment to one person each day for one week, I have a sneaky suspicion it would not only make a lot of people feel a momentary warm glow . . . but more likely make them feel pretty darn chirky for the whole day.
It's those "little" things that can mean so much to each and every one of us. We get so caught up in our lives, the hustle and bustle of our sometimes too busy days. Yet it takes so little time to make eye contact, share a kind word and a warm smile.
So go ahead now, and tell me I'm beautiful. (Oh, wait. I don't suppose it counts for much if one asks for the compliment. Drat.)