“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Teresa
A couple of Thursdays ago, I received a message in my Facebook inbox. It was from an old friend with whom I attended Thomas More College. The message was short, but will likely remain with me for quite a while. The first sentence read: “Noah – I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your blogs.”
Wow! What an incredibly kind thing to say.
Throughout the now eight months that Aaron and I have been writing, I have received several kind words about how valuable or relevant a certain post has been. Some people have indicated that the message from a particular post on a particular day contained the exact words they needed to hear. I know that others have shared similar sentiments with Aaron because we often share those stories and words with each other as soon as we receive them.
Each of these kind words creates a lasting impact in my life. Receiving those words often fuels me to continue writing and sharing my optimism with others because I know the impact and reach that the messages have on other people. They are such simple and small gestures that take almost no time at all to deliver, but they have made such an impression on me. When I feel as though I have nothing to say or am struggling to find the right words, I think of those kind words as motivation to go forward. I am eternally grateful.
Now, I am not using my platform today to solicit compliments for my writing, but instead imagine how incredible it would be if we were intentional in delivering kind words to others.
During the summer months at work, I get to dress down into polo shirts with my slacks instead of the normal shirt and tie when school is in session. Every time I show up at work in my bright yellow polo, one of my co-workers always comments on how much she loves the color and how sunny and cheery it is. It inevitably makes me smile. So much so, that I now smile even pulling that shirt out of my closet.
I love being out on shopping trips with Lauren. Whenever we go to check out, she will regularly point out something the employee at the register is wearing and talk about how much she loves it. I am always able to see the giant smile that beams from that worker as they continue to ring us up.
Recently, I saw someone complimented on their shoes. I am convinced as that person walked away he had an extra spring in his step from those kind words.
These words cost us absolutely nothing. They are so easy to deliver that they barely even set us back in time—a few words, a quick text, a short email, a small note. All of these would only take a few seconds to do, yet routinely we are quick with a complaint and slow to a compliment.
I have experience first hand the power of kind words on me, yet I still have to remain intentional in delivering those same words to others. Perhaps, like me, we take those things for granted. We expect our service to be great so we only comment on the bad. We expect people to do things a certain way so we only make note of when they fall short. We may only be focusing on ourselves and miss the opportunity to value someone else.
Think about how you feel when someone gives you a compliment or showers you with praise. It makes you feel good. It makes you smile. It makes you happy.
These are the opportunities we should seek. Spreading kindness through compliments and acts of service is one of the greatest gifts that we possess.
Start today. Write someone a note. Shoot someone a text or an email. Call someone and leave them a voicemail. Be complimentary. Be appreciative. Be genuine.
Let’s allow our kindness to become contagious. I can assure you that it will leave a lasting impression on those with whom we share it. It certainly has with me.
Bring your best today!