So as I was looking at this cross-stitched sampler I made decades ago, and which I periodically hang on the wall over the kitchen stove, it prompted me to search out an old post I wrote which was inspired by it. Even though I'm repeating the blog post, it will be new to all of you current readers as I originally wrote it when I had a grand total of perhaps two readers, one of whom was my daughter.
The title of the post was:
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 reassurance in regard 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 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, 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 the most attractive smile."
"You're such a truly kind person."
"Your delightful laugh is so uplifting."
"You have the ability to make people feel loved."
When wouldn't it make any of us feel wonderful to be given a compliment? If we would all make a conscientious 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.
So go ahead now, and tell me I'm beautiful.
(Oh, wait. I don't think it works very well if one asks for the compliment. Darn.)