Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Don't Be Afraid to Say It

Did you ever have one of those little random encounters with a stranger that completely changed your day? Yeah, that happened to me this morning.

I was out running errands and stopped to get something to drink. As I was filling my cup, a man came up next to me. I only noticed him from the corner of my eye, but I heard that he was humming a little tune, and saw that he had that general aura of happiness about him. I smiled to myself, because happiness is contagious.

He suddenly turned to me and said "You're very pretty." I kind of chuckled, and told him that he was very sweet. He cocked his head a little and said "No, I'm serious. You're beautiful."

Now, I don't know if the guy was just being goofy, or if he was on drugs, or if he really did think I was beautiful. Either way, it made me smile, and I appreciated the kind gesture.

Of course that got me to thinking about the impact that someone's kind words can have on us. Which in turn led me to think about how many times I've passed up the opportunity to show that kindness (particularly to a random stranger.)

I could recall several times when I had thought something nice about someone (you have really pretty eyes, those are really cute shoes, that color looks nice on you, etc.) but didn't work up the nerve to say anything. I complimented them in my head, but then just kept it to myself. Mostly because I didn't want to seem weird.

What would it have meant to those people if I had actually said it out loud? Maybe nothing. Maybe they would have thought I was weird. Or maybe it would have brightened their day just a little bit. I hope that next time I'll have the courage to take that chance.

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