April 17, 2010

Random Act of Kindness Challenge – Day 17: Simple Compliments

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Welcome to Day 17 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. I’m thrilled at the number of people who have decided to join me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. If you haven’t already grabbed our button, please do so and let everyone know you’re doing your part to make each day as nice as can be not just for you but for others as well.

Has anyone every said ‘Thank you’ to you and it just made you feel terrific? If you’ve ever been on the path of losing weight, didn’t it make you feel amazing when someone complimented you on how you looked or how much they admire you for sticking to your new program despite all the temptations?
In our very busy and often tech-heavy days we forget how much simple compliments can do to improve our day or that of someone we meet. Whether it’s at the store, the park, the movies, on-line with Twitter, Facebook or a favorite blog, your few words of kindness can really mean so much.
I’ve had the pleasure of working retail back in my 20s. I can’t tell you how many times I would wait on a customer and they’d never say Thank you. Or, even worse, they would stand there with a scowl on their face and never make eye contant. There were even frequent customers who I’d do anything to avoid because they were downers. I don’t think they really meant to be that way, but no matter how hard I tried to do nice things there was never any positive feedback. But I wouldn’t let it get to me. Often, I would put a smiley face on their receipt or even write something nice just so they knew I appreciated their business regardless of their mood.

As a homeschooling mom, I rarely travel solo. BabyGirl and I are, as the saying goes, attached at the hip. Whether it’s trying out Morton’s Steakhouse or buying groceries, we’re together during the day. I work very hard to teacher BabyGirl about etiquette and manners, kindness and appropriate public behavior. I have to tell you that when a stranger comes up to me and compliments BabyGirl’s behavior I beam. Knowing that others appreciate my effort and BabyGirl’s manner of carrying herself in public can really boost a mom’s morale.

I know that my actions speak loudly when it comes to teaching BabyGirl. And that is why I try to take the various opportunities presented to me to demonstrate to her — and others watching — that being nice has immense benefits.

As I mentioned yesterday, I signed up at It Starts With Us. Nate has set out a mission to spread love and kindness, both purposefully and randomly. I took psychology and I know how much easier it is for many people to act as part of a group rather than do things on their own, feeling like they – as one person – are not making much of a difference.

Trust me, each of us can make a difference by our individual actions. If though, you’d like to be part of a group urge you to sign up with Nate’s group at It Starts With Us, because I believe that we each have the ability to beautify the world around us.

I thank you for being part of this Random Acts of Kindness Challenge and for making a conscious effort to do good! I’d love to hear how you are making a difference and how doing good has made you feel.

Sara

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