I was sitting in the bathroom of a hotel, waiting for my mother. With nothing to do and nobody to talk to, I awkwardly went through my mom’s pocketbook, flipping through her phone. Suddenly, a woman on line for the bathroom came over to me. “You have the most beautiful hair,” she said.
This happened a number of months ago, and yet I remember this unbidden compliment as if it happened yesterday. This woman did not need to compliment me. After all, why would a stranger on line in the bathroom compliment some random girl sitting in the bathroom? Although nobody was expecting her to hand out a free compliment, she did anyway.
I will never know this woman’s name. Even if I do see her again, I don’t really remember what she looked like. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to return the favor, and she knew that. And yet, she gave me this compliment anyway, just because she could.
It really is amazing how much good a simple sentence can do. How taking extraordinarily little effort on behalf of someone else will just boost her entire day. It’s so easy to tell an acquaintance in the school hallway “I love your skirt!” or give a quick “Nice hairstyle!” to a friend in class. If we go out of our way to compliment the people in our lives – the constants as well as tangents – we’ll be creating a happier world.