Web Inspirations

Web Inspirations for Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere

Dec 31, 2012

Counting Down

Dec 12, 2012

Good Compliments

A man walked into a bar, sat at the counter and ordered a beer. As he sipped the brew, he heard a soothing voice say, "Nice tie." He looked around but nobody was there. The place was empty save for himself and the bartender, washing glasses at the far end of the counter. A few moments later he heard the disembodied voice again: "Beautiful shirt." A little shaken, the man called the bartender over. 

"Hey, I must be losing my mind," he said. "I keep hearing these voices saying nice things, and there's not a soul in here but us." 

"It's the peanuts," answered the bartender. 

"Say what?" replied the man in disbelief. 

"You heard me," said the barkeep. "It's the peanuts . . . they're complimentary."

(Hmm. I should probably apologize for that. But let's talk about compliments.)

Fulton Sheen once said, "Baloney is flattery laid on so thick it cannot be true, and blarney is flattery so thin we love it." I'm not talking about baloney or blarney, but rather about sincere compliments and power they can have. 

Eleanor Roosevelt never remembered being complimented by her mother. Anna was deeply disappointed in her daughter's looks and demeanor. She often called young Eleanor "Granny." To visitors, she would say, "She is such a funny child, so old-fashioned that we always call her Granny."

"I wanted to sink through the floor in shame," an older and wiser Eleanor later recalled. 

In a similarly harsh vein, Anna sometimes admonished her young daughter, "You have no looks, so see to it that you have manners." Yet through it all, Eleanor forever wanted her mother's approval. But it wasn't to be, for Anna died at the age of 29, when her daughter was only eight. 

What could it have been like for little Eleanor if her mother shamed less and complimented more? Sincere compliments and acts of appreciation have the power to transform. We often remember them for years and they have a proven way of influencing future behavior. 

Using compliments wisely was one of the secrets of the phenomenal success of Mary Kay Ash (of Mary Kay Cosmetics). "Everyone wants to be appreciated," she often said, "so if you appreciate someone, don't keep it a secret." Likewise, Mark Twain famously said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment." That probably goes for most of us.

What's a GOOD compliment? It's one that is both sincere and timely. Insincere flattery is false. It patronizes at best. But a sincere compliment is a heart-felt expression of appreciation. And when said in the right way at the right time, it has the power to call forth something beautiful in another.

One man changed his life by learning how to offer a simple compliment. "I never let a day go by without giving at least three people a compliment," he says. He challenges others to give it a try. Since adopting this exercise, he says he has discovered an extraordinary response from other people. He adds that he is experiencing a growing appreciation for the various people in his life. 

I have begun practicing the exercise myself. I am discovering that few things can so quickly change a relationship as the right word said at the right time. And what's more, surprising someone with a compliment can be a fun thing to do.

Besides, you can't always depend on the peanuts to be complimentary.

-- Steve Goodier

Dec 8, 2012

I wish you enough

Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:

"I love you and I wish you enough."

The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter left.

The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.

I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?"

"I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said.

When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?"

She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.

When we said 'I wish you enough' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them". Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye."

She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person.
An hour to appreciate them.
A day to love them.
And an entire life to forget them.

- Author Unknown

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